A far-right ally of former President Donald Trump has won her primary race against a fellow Republican lawmaker in a deep-red Illinois district, providing one more sign of the ex-president’s continued hold on the party.
Rep. Mary Miller, a freshman Republican best known nationally for praising Adolf Hitler on her second day in office, defeated Rep. Rodney Davis, a five-term lawmaker known as a GOP insider, by a narrow margin.
Miller’s victory all but ensures she will earn a second term in Congress come November.
After Illinois lost a congressional seat due to the 2020 Census, Democrats redrawing the maps in that state eliminated the purple district Davis had represented since 2012, and put him in a new, very Trumpy district with Miller.
The race attracted a remarkable $10 million in outside spending and divided GOP factions from Illinois to Washington. Miller’s victory is shared by Trump, who backed the first-term congresswoman; his flagging endorsement record in this 2022 primary season will get a sorely needed boost.
Miller, aligned with the hard-right Freedom Caucus, touted Trump’s support constantly. The ex-president traveled to the district last Saturday to boost her at a rally, where Miller made headlines for praising the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a victory for “white life.” (Her campaign insisted she meant “right to life.”)
Davis had the backing of local Republican parties and many agriculture and business groups, but he moved away from his more moderate reputation during the campaign in order to win over the district’s population of MAGA voters. Miller attacked him for being a “RINO” because he was one of 35 Republicans to vote in favor of an independent commission to investigate Jan. 6.
In response, Davis attacked the House select committee that was created to investigate the Capitol riot and pledged to investigate that probe himself if the GOP takes control of the chamber next year.
Ultimately, GOP voters in central Illinois decided not to give Davis that chance, instead preferring a lawmaker whose husband parked his truck—adorned with militia details—at the Capitol on Jan. 6.