Elections

Rep. Mary Miller Defeats Fellow Illinois Republican Rodney Davis In Heated Member Vs Member Primary

Photos by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Rep. Mary Miller defeated fellow Illinois Republican Rodney Davis on Tuesday in a member-versus-member primary that featured an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, fights over the January 6 Select Committee, and accusations of racism.

With 73% of votes counted, Miller held over 57% support, and Davis garnered more than 42%. Miller is a first-term representative and member of the House Freedom Caucus, while Davis was first elected in 2012 and is the ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee. Davis is the fourth House Republican to lose a primary, joining West Virginia Rep. David McKinley, North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice, and Mississippi Rep. Steven Palazzo.

Several elections analysts called the race shortly before 10 p.m. Eastern time.

Although top House Republicans reportedly urged him to stay out of the race, Trump endorsed Miller, and campaigned for her in the closing days of the race. During a rally on Saturday, Miller cited Trump’s nomination of three judges who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, appearing to say, “I want to thank you for the historic victory for wi— life in the Supreme Court yesterday.”

Some observers, including Davis, claimed that Miller thanked Trump for a “historic victory for white life,” a charge she denied. Davis later claimed that Miller was “unfit for office,” and ran an ad highlighting remarks in which Miller claimed that “Hitler was right on one thing. ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’”

Miller has responded by highlighting Davis’ votes to certify the 2020 presidential election and establish a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, arguing that they make him a “Republican in Name Only.” Miller voted against certification and against the commission. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Rodney Davis Demands Answers From Legislative Branch Agencies On Their Work For Jan. 6 Committee)

Miller also noted Davis’ 2019 support for red-flag laws. Neither representative voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which incentivizes states to pass their own red-flag laws.

Miller will go on to face Democrat Paul Lange in November. The 15th District has a 42-point Republican lean, according to FiveThirtyEight.

In Illinois’ other member-versus-member primary, Sean Casten defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Marie Newman. The state lost one congressional district as a result of reapportionment following the 2020 census.