‘Appalling’ email in Ill. spurs new GOP rift, Black Republican woman House hopeful labeled ‘street walker’

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Former Miss America Erika Harold, 33, announces her plans to challenge first-term U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis in the 2014 Republican primary in Urbana, Ill. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, John Dixon, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The chairman of the Republican Party in Montgomery County has resigned after writing what’s been called a racist and sexist email about U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis’ primary challenger.

Illinois Republican Party chairman Jack Dorgan says he accepted Jim Allen’s resignation on Thursday afternoon.

Allen wrote an email Tuesday suggesting Erika Harold could fill a “minority quota” if she lost the Republican primary. The biracial Harvard law school graduate was crowned Miss America in 2003 and launched her bid to challenge Davis this month.

Allen referred to Harold as a “street walker” and “love child” in an e-mail with racial overtones to the conservative website, Republican News Watch.

During a conference call Thursday, Davis said Allen should step down from the county post. That call was echoed by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who said Allen should apologize to Harold and resign.

Allen’s name already was removed from a list of Davis supporters.

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