West Virginia House Vote Reverberates in Illinois Primary Battle

  • Trump’s choice won first GOP incumbent matchup
  • Illinois race clouded by associate’s criminal record

West Virginia voters have fueled a primary battle in Illinois.

Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) is locked in one of the four remaining incumbent-versus-incumbent races that resulted from congressional redistricting. Her campaign wasted no time reminding fellow Republicans that, like West Virginia primary winner Rep. Alex Mooney, she’s been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

“Mooney’s victory is an important reminder that Republican Primary voters want to support pro-Trump, pro-Second Amendment conservatives, and they will not be fooled by Swamp-funded RINOs who voted for the January 6th Commission like Rodney Davis,” Miller said in a news release released late Tuesday.

RINO, or Republican in name only, is part of Miller’s campaign rhetoric as she fights for votes against the more experienced, and more moderate Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.). It’s the only remaining primary between Republican incumbents.

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Davis has been emphasizing areas in which he and Trump agree, such as opposition to immigration “sanctuary cities” and support for the US-Mexico border wall.

He also criticizes Miller for voting against a military spending bill.

Clerk of the House of Representatives
Reps. Mary Miller and Rodney Davis of Illinois

There’s a chance, though, that the June 28 primary could turn on how the Republicans view a KSDK-TV report that an unpaid volunteer who raised money for Miller’s campaign and drove Miller’s vehicle had served jail time for soliciting sex from a young boy.

The broadcast report cited a recurring line in Miller’s speeches, that “a politician is known by their votes and by who they hang around with.”

In an email Wednesday, Davis campaign spokesman Aaron DeGroot emphasized Davis’s relationship with the former president while criticizing Miller as “a carpet-bagger who doesn’t live in the district”.

Miller “quotes Hitler, votes with the Socialist Squad to defund our military, and has a child sex predator working on her campaign and refuses to answer questions about it,” the spokesman said.

“Rodney was proud to work with President Trump and his Administration to cut taxes, grow our economy, and secure our border, which is why so many local Republicans have endorsed Rodney,” he said.”It’s no surprise Mary Miller has yet to announce an endorsement of a local Republican who could actually vote for her. ” The spokesman was referring to Miller citing Hitler at a conservative group rally in Washington on Jan. 5, 2021. She later apologized for the comments after she faced criticism.

The Davis campaign also posted a link on its website to a press conference by the Illinois Freedom Caucus in which Miller’s husband declined to answer questions about the sex predator allegations and the congresswoman stayed in a back room onsite instead of going before the microphones.

See also:
Trump-Backed Mooney Defeats Fellow House Republican
Miller Says Trump Will Stump for Her in Illinois (NBC)
Miller Quoted Hitler at US Capitol Rally (KSDK-TV)

The other redistricting-forced primaries pitting two congressional incumbents involve Democrats in Illinois, Georgia, and Michigan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Joyce in Chicago at sjoyce@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Katherine Rizzo at krizzo@bgov.com; Bennett Roth at broth@bgov.com