Jim Allen, a supporter of Davis who had been listed as a member of “Team 2014” on his campaign website, sent an email to the editor-in-chief of the local independent news site Republican News Watch in which he called Davis’ challenger — an African-American former Miss America — a “street walker,” “Little Queenie,” and a “love child of the D.N.C.” An excerpt from the email:
The little queen touts her abstinence and she won the crown because she got bullied in school,,,boohoo..kids are cruel, life sucks and you move on..Now, miss queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS…These pimps want something they can’t get,,, the seat held by a conservative REPUBLICAN Rodney Davis and Nancy Pelosi can’t stand it..
Reaction within the state Republican Party was swift, and the Davis campaign quickly distanced themselves from the remarks. “Mr. Allen’s comments are misguided and wrong and certainly do not reflect the views of Congressman Davis or his campaign,” a spokesman for the Republican congressman told the News-Gazette. Another party chairman in nearby Champaign County also condemned the comments, telling the local newspaper that he “can’t even give you words that are printable to describe my reaction to it.”
On Wednesday, Allen finally issued an apology in a phone call with the News-Gazette. “The words in the commentary I wrote were completely wrong…I apologize to Erika Harold, her staff and her supporters,” he said.
A recent poll conducted shortly after Harold formally joined the campaign found Davis ahead by a wide margin, 54 percent to 16 percent. But the same poll also found that 60 percent of the district’s voters had never heard of Harold.