(CNN) – Erika Harold, who won the 2003 Miss America pageant, announced Tuesday she's mounting a Republican primary challenge to Rep. Rodney Davis in Illinois.
She's the second former holder of the Miss America crown to publicly eye a spot on Capitol Hill – in May, the 2000 winner Heather French Henry said she was considering jumping into the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky, which could see her pitted against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
Chicago (CNN) – Speaking at a political fundraiser, President Barack Obama promised Wednesday to work tirelessly to convince the American people that Democrats’ ideas are the right ones.
But at the same time, he attempted to strike a bipartisan tone, acknowledging that while Washington may appear broken, “it can be fixed.”
(CNN) - Illinois legislators weren’t thinking about harmless flash mobs, like countless renditions of the Harlem Shake or over-the-top marriage proposals, when crafting new legislation recently.
A bill which passed the state assembly on Friday and the state Senate earlier would allow judges to "impose an extended term sentence" when new-age “mob action” involves "electronic communication."
Washington (CNN) – Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady resigned Tuesday, citing a handful of reasons including an ongoing struggle with several members of the state GOP over his support for same-sex marriage.
"There were several reasons," why he decided to step down, Brady said in a telephone interview with CNN. "I've been going at it hard for six years, I need to focus on my family, and obviously I had lost the support of the state Central Committee because of my position on gay marriage."
(CNN) - Democratic nominee Robin Kelly won a special election Tuesday to fill the congressional seat left vacant by disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., CNN projected.
A former Illinois state representative, Kelly was considered the overwhelming favorite in the district, which includes parts of Chicago's Southside. It's one of the most Democratic in the nation.
(CNN) - Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, a socially moderate Republican, announced on Tuesday his support for same-sex marriage, becoming the second Republican in the chamber to support it.
"Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage," he wrote in a statement. "Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back - government has no place in the middle."
Washington (CNN) – With climate change as one of his administration's top priorities and the decision on the controversial Keystone pipeline expected at any time, President Obama took his energy message to Chicago Friday.
The president pressed Congress to pass an energy proposal that the administration says would target two billion dollars over ten years to wean cars and trucks from fossil fuels to clean energy and create clean energy jobs.
Washington (CNN) - Democrats apparently have one less thing to worry about as they try to keep control of the Senate in 2014: Dick Durbin isn't retiring.
A source familiar with the Senate majority whip's thinking confirms to CNN that Durbin next year will seek a fourth term in office. There was recent speculation that the Illinois Democrat, 68, would not run for re-election in 2014.
(CNN) - His son, the former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., spiraled from a position of promise to one of disgrace over the past year. It began with his mysterious disappearance from the halls of Congress, word of mental health issues, his resignation, and then a guilty plea to misusing campaign funds.
The elder Jackson said in an interview Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room" that this was a sad, but "perhaps not the last chapter" of his son's service.
(CNN) - The powerful National Rifle Association lobby should see Tuesday's outcome in a congressional election as a sign that their influence is declining, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, predicting future wins for pro-gun control candidates would require less than the $2 million he injected into this race.
"I think it's a harbinger of what is going to happen here," Bloomberg said in an interview to air Wednesday on CNN's "The Situation Room."