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Catalina Camia, USA TODAY

A former Miss America who is black and running for Congress has been called a "street walker," "love child" and other names by a Republican Party chairman in Illinois.

Erika Harold, a Harvard-trained lawyer who wore the crown in 2003, is challenging Rep. Rodney Davis in a Republican primary. The comments by Montgomery County (Ill.) GOP Chairman Jim Allen were reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Now, Miss Queen is being used like a street walker and her pimps are the DEMOCRAT PARTY and RINO REPUBLICANS," Allen wrote in an e-mail to Republican News Watch.

The Post-Dispatch describes it as an independent website run by conservative Republicans who are challenging moderate GOP leaders in Illinois.

Allen also called Harold the "love child" of the Democratic National Committee and criticized her platform as Miss America, which promoted abstinence and put the spotlight on bullying in schools. He also predicted that Davis would win and that Harold would be "working for some law firm that needs to meet their quota for minority hires."

Allen has sinceapologized to Harold and her supporters for his "very inappopriate and wrong" comments, the State-Journal Register reported.

Davis, the congressman being challenged by Harold, removed Allen's name from a list of supporters on his website. Davis campaign spokesman Andrew Flach told the Post-Dispatch that Allen's comments "are misguided and wrong and certainly do not reflect" the views of the congressman or his campaign.