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Candidate Q & A: Illinois Attorney General Republican Candidate Erika Harold

CHICAGO (CBS) --  The resume of Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General Erika Harold is quite unique.

The woman hoping to be the next Illinois Attorney General has both a Miss America title and a law degree from Harvard.

CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley sat down with Harold to find out what she wants do if she's elected.

Harold: I want to fight public corruption. I want to focus on criminal justice reform and I want to address the opioid epidemic. One of the things I'd bring to this office is an outside perspective.

I've not been part of the problems in Springfield during the past decade. I would be able to bring fresh leadership, fresh ideas and hopefully be able to encourage people to be engaged in this political process.

Blakley: Erika Harold's campaign has been largely financed by Governor Bruce Rauner, the de facto boss of Illinois' Republican party. But Harold has attacked her opponent, Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul, for his ties to Democratic party chief Mike Madigan.

Harold: He's someone who has marched lockstep with speaker Madigan on the key issues of the day, whether it's voting to raise his own pay, voting to raise taxes or voting to allow (former Illinois Governor Rod) Blagojevich to skip pension payments. He's not been somebody who's stood up to be able to stand up on the side of the people as opposed to taking on the political class.

Blakley: And Harold rejects Raoul's criticism that as a pro-life Republican, she could prove a threat to abortion rights in Illinois.

Harold: It's preposterous and Senator Raoul has been flooding people's mailboxes this past week suggesting that somehow I would use the office of Illinois Attorney General to undermine people's abortion access. It's fundamentally false.

The attorney general has no power to do that. And I think he should stop trying to scare people and instead focus on what it is that he wants to do for the people of Illinois.

I've been campaigning throughout the state of Illinois, people routinely talk about Illinois' record of corruption and the fact they want an attorney general who will be a watchdog and a check on state government.

There are a lot of people who are going to vote for me because they want to see a check within Illinois government and they want somebody who is willing to  hold both parties accountable and will be an independent voice within that office and that's what I offer the people of Illinois.


RELATED: Candidate Q & A: Illinois Attorney General Democratic Candidate Kwame Raoul


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