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Trump rally could be ‘tipping point’ for Mary Miller’s campaign, expert says

Then-President Donald Trump, at the Jan. 6 2021 rally in Washington, D.C, protesting the certification of electoral votes for Joe Biden as president.

With less than a week until the primary election in Illinois, the buzz in the state’s newly redrawn 15th Congressional District is centered on a “Save America” rally this Saturday (June 25) at the Adams County Fairgrounds, northeast of Quincy, with former President Donald Trump and Congresswoman Mary Miller.

Rick Wilson, co-founder of The Lincoln Project, a Republican anti-Trump group, said the rally could be a “tipping point” for Miller’s campaign.

“(Trump rallies) drive a lot of engagement, that does drive a lot of pushing with base voters….(it’s) a potential last minute boost for a candidate,” Wilson said.

In April, Miller, a freshman lawmaker from Coles County, spent time at Mar-a-Lago with Trump’s family. She tweeted about feeling “honored” to have the former president’s endorsement “as the only America First conservative” in the 15th district.

Trump told The Center Square that he’s known Miller for a long-time, and described her as a “high-quality person.”

Miller faces fellow Congressperson Rodney Davis of Taylorville in the heated 15th district Republican primary. Paul Lange is running unopposed in the district’s Democratic primary. The 15th district is widely seen as Republican-leaning.

Davis, who has served in the U.S. House since 2012, has occasionally been critical of Trump, but also served as co-chairman for his Illinois re-election campaign. Despite missing out on Trump’s endorsement, Davis said he’s “proud” of working with the former president.

Wilson said Davis is attempting to showcase his pro-Trump credentials.

“There’s an old rule in politics, if you’re explaining, you’re losing. And a lot of (Davis’s) message seems to be, ‘I’m a conservative, I’m really a conservative.’ I mean we’ll see if they buy that,” Wilson stated.

The Davis campaign said they’re holding an event in Springfield on Saturday morning. Over 50 volunteers along with local Republican officials will be present, according to Davis’s campaign.

Harrison Malkin is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow him @HarrisonMalkin

Picture of Harrison Malkin

Harrison Malkin

Harrison Malkin is a politics reporter at Illinois Public Media. He's focusing on elections across the state, particularly the 13th and 15th congressional districts and the gubernatorial race. Malkin studied Politics and Communications at Ithaca College, where he was a nightly newscaster and reporter for WICB. From 2020 to 2021, he was a reporting fellow at the Center on Media, Crime, and Justice at John Jay College. You can send a tip, recommendation, or note to hmalkin@illinois.edu.

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