Not time to give up
Even in a losing effort, Erika Harold can be proud of the way she ran her campaign. We hope she stays involved in electoral politics.
Erika Harold's quest for a seat in Congress came to an end in Tuesday's primary election, but we hope this is only a temporary setback for a woman with such potential for public service.
Whether or not you agree with her decision to run in the primary against incumbent Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville, whether or not you agree with her on the issues, you can't criticize her motivation for being in the race or the way she ran her campaign.
Harold announced last summer that she would challenge Davis for her party's nomination in 2014 so that Republican voters, rather than party chairmen, could choose their party's nominee.
In 2012, Harold lost to Davis in a narrow vote of GOP party chairmen in the 13th Congressional District to replace incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, who resigned after winning the primary. Davis went on to win the seat over Democrat David Gill in a close election.
From the start, Harold ran into obstacles in her campaign, obstacles perhaps she should have foreseen. The advantages of incumbency for Davis, including a huge fundraising advantage and backing of state and national Republican Party leaders, proved too much for Harold to overcome.
But Harold should be proud of her effort.
She campaigned energetically all over the sprawling district, which stretches from Urbana southwest to the Missouri border, despite being virtually ignored by Davis.
And she campaigned positively, explaining her views on issues and her qualifications for office, a huge difference from the intensely negative campaigning so prevalent these days.
Harold says she has "no idea" what her political future holds. She intends to stay in Champaign-Urbana and continue practicing law.
We hope, after a period of rest and reflection, that she decides to stay involved in electoral politics. The Harvard Law School graduate and former Miss America has a lot to offer in a political culture long on cynicism and short on substance.
She is a bright, articulate spokeswoman who is able to make her case to people who have not traditionally supported conservative positions, and she can be a great asset to the Republican Party.
There's still plenty of time for her to launch a great career in politics.