An Illinois congresswoman who said she’d mistakenly called the recent Supreme Court abortion decision “a victory for white life” beat five-term fellow GOP House member Rodney Davis in a rare primary on Tuesday pitting two incumbents against each other.
Rep. Mary Miller was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who held a rally with her on Saturday. Miller praised Trump for appointing justices who overturned Roe v. Wade and called it a “historic victory for white life.”
Her campaign later said Miller had misspoken and had meant to say “right to life.”
Davis, a five-term incumbent, had risen quickly in the ranks of the House Republican conference. The top Republican on the House Administration Committee, he would have been the favorite to take the chairman’s gavel in 2023, should Republicans win the House of Representatives.
Miller’s win, despite the gaffe, will likely be seen as a sign of Trump’s strength with the party faithful. Miller voted against certifying the 2020 election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania, where Trump lost, while Davis voted in favor of certification.
Trump has left little doubt that he intends to see Republicans who voted to certify the 2020 election or impeach him lose in their primaries. Already, one of those in favor of impeachment, Rep. Tom Rice (S.C.) lost his primary handily after Trump endorsed his opponent.
Tuesday’s member-vs.-member primary was forced by Illinois losing a House seat due to the reapportionment of congressional seats that follows a new U.S. Census population estimate every 10 years.
Miller and Davis were competing to be the Republican nominee for the new 15th District in Illinois, which is considered a likely safe Republican seat in the fall general election.