WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump has pledged to travel to Illinois and campaign for Rep. Mary Miller in her tough primary against fellow Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, Miller told NBC News.
A visit by Trump before the June 28 primary would give the Congresswoman a big boost in the newly drawn horseshoe-shaped 15th Congressional District, which includes some rural areas and suburbs of St. Louis.
In a brief interview outside the Capitol this week, Miller said she had recently spoken with Trump and that he had promised he would stump for her.
Asked when he planned to visit, Miller replied: “June.”
The Trump team did not confirm a trip to Illinois, but Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said Trump is hosting a fundraiser for Miller at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Wednesday night and that the 45th president plans to stop by.
Davis and Miller, both Trump allies, are in a rare member-on-member primary race brought on by the decennial redistricting process. Miller, who was elected to Congress in 2020, is a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus; Davis co-chaired Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign in Illinois, but he’s a former leader of the more friendly centrist, business Republican Main Street Caucus.
Davis is also an ally of House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who named him the top Republican on the House Administration Committee. The panel has oversight of security of the US Capitol, and Davis was one of 35 Republicans who joined Democrats in voting to create a bipartisan 9/11-style independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 riots.
Davis’ campaign has attacked Miller for not living in the new district, calling her a “carpetbagger and Chicagoland native” who appears “desperate to stay in Congress.” His campaign has also gone after Miller for a speech she gave in Washington last year when she said “Hitler was right on one thing. He said, ‘Whoever has the youth has the future.’ Our children are being propagandized.”
She later apologized for those remarks.
When informed about Trump’s potential visit to Illinois, Davis replied: “I’m going to continue to travel the district to talk about my conservative credentials, my record of working with President Trump when he was president to lower taxes, attack student debt, and also fund our military.”
Asked if it was a mistake for Trump to endorse Miller instead of him, Davis replied: “I think so.”
Davis has already secured endorsements from Reps. Darin LaHood and Mike Post, and former Rep. John Shimkus — all Illinois Republicans. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a conservative firebrand, had urged Trump to throw his support behind Miller, which he ultimately did on Jan. 1.