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Miller campaign volunteer was convicted for luring young boy for sex

The conservative firebrand quickly made a name for herself in Congress purporting to protect children from ideas she considers offensive

ST. LOUIS — If you signed a petition to help put U.S. Rep. Mary Miller (R-Illinois) on this June's primary ballot, there's a chance that a man convicted of luring a child for sex was the one who asked you to sign those campaign documents.

Congresswoman Mary Miller is facing new questions about her relationship with Brad Graven, a former state worker who pleaded guilty to luring a young boy to a drugstore parking lot for sex acts in 2005. 

Photos, videos, and state election records show Graven was actively involved in helping the effort to re-elect Miller. Reached by phone, Graven claimed he was merely an unpaid volunteer for the Miller campaign. His name does not show up on the campaign payroll, but Graven enjoyed virtually unlimited access to Miller, served as her personal chauffeur at public events and raised money for her campaign. Miller trusted Graven with her family vehicle, which is adorned with campaign stickers and legislative license plates. 

At several of those campaign stops, Miller encouraged voters to judge her and her colleagues in Congress by the company they keep.

"A politician is known by their votes and by who they hang around with," Miller told supporters on Monday night in Quincy.

That line has become a common refrain from the first-term conservative firebrand who made national headlines for quoting Adolf Hitler at a QAnon rally outside the U.S. Capitol on January 5, 2021.

RELATED: New Illinois congresswoman: 'Hitler was right on one thing'

Last month, Miller told supporters at the Moultrie County Lincoln Day Dinner that, “I always told my children that I could tell a lot about who they are by who they hang around with. It’s the same thing in D.C. with the adults.”

Miller's closest ally on Capitol Hill is arguably U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. The Georgia Congresswoman hosted a fundraiser for Miller last summer and recently caused a stir among religious conservatives for claiming the Catholic church "harbored monsters."

"I could not trust the church leadership to protect my children from pedophiles," Greene said. 

Greene could not be reached for comment about the criminal record of Miller's campaign volunteer, or whether she thought Miller was "harboring monsters."

"I believe a politician is known by their votes and the company they keep," Miller told a Schuyler County Republican gathering in March.

Miller is running against five-term incumbent Congressman Rodney Davis in the Republican primary next month. The Davis campaign challenged Miller to explain her relationship with Graven.

"Mary Miller likes to say politicians are known by the people they hang around with," Davis' campaign spokesman Aaron DeGroot told 5 On Your Side. "If that’s the case, she must explain why a man who served jail time for soliciting sex from a minor on the internet is working for her campaign. Miller’s silence on this says a lot about her character and lack of judgement."

Miller's campaign manager Patrick Farrell answered a phone call on Tuesday morning and briefly discussed the story before hanging up and promising to respond with an explanation. The campaign never responded.

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