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Erika Harold, who was crowned Miss America in 2003, announced her intention to run for Congress Friday.
Harold plans to run on the Republican ticket to represent her home state of Illinois in its 13th Congressional District seat.
She has already begun the process to replace Tim Johnson, who dropped out of the race in March, two weeks after winning the GOP nomination.
Since her Miss America days, Harold, 32, has graduated from Harvard Law School and currently works as a litigation attorney in Chicago. She is now one of four potential candidates to go up against Democrat David Gill in the November election.
"I think I've had a pretty unique set of life experiences," she said. "I think those experiences and interacting with so many different people as Miss America, as a lawyer and in many other capacities will hopefully equip me to be able to relate to and serve as an effective advocate for the diverse interests within the district."
While the Constitution does not require that congressmen live the district they represent, Harold is prepared to move to the 13th District if she is announced the Republican nominee.
“My goal would be to move as soon as possible,” she said.
She has until Wednesday to complete the application process.
"I haven't completed it yet, but this weekend I will be spending a lot of time working on it," she said. "I think it's designed to provide the chairmen with a full glimpse of who you are and to provide them with the tools to assess your capacity to be an effective candidate."