Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) has allowed a man convicted of soliciting sex with a minor to assist with her reelection campaign, the Washington Examiner has learned.
The revelation is at odds with Miller's family values platform and threatens to complicate her GOP primary bid against a House colleague, Rodney Davis, in a newly created downstate Illinois district.
At issue is the campaign role of Bradley Graven, a former contractor for the state treasurer. Graven pleaded guilty in 2005 following a sting operation in which he contacted an officer posing as a minor in an internet chat room. Graven agreed to meet with him "to engage in sexual activities" the following day and was arrested, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Graven has recently been seen driving the congresswoman's family's vehicle to campaign events on three occasions.
In March, Graven was seen driving Miller to a Jacksonville parade in an SUV with state legislative plates, according to pictures obtained by the Washington Examiner.
Photos also show Graven driving Miller and her husband to Lincoln Day fundraising dinners in Schuyler and Bond counties. Another photo shows Graven seated with the congresswoman at the Bond County event.
Graven was also responsible for collecting more than 50% of the signatures Miller needed to get on the ballot, according to documents provided to the Washington Examiner. He has also posted on social media in an effort to call on individuals to donate to her campaign.
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Miller has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, a potential boon to her reelection bid.
The congresswoman is facing Davis in the June 28 Republican primary due to the Democratic-controlled redistricting process. Illinois is losing a seat due to population loss in the decade leading up to the most recent census, dropping from 18 to 17 House districts. New district lines effectively forced the pair of Republican House members to fight it out in the primary for the right to represent the district, which includes some rural areas and suburbs of St. Louis.
Since taking office after her 2020 election, Miller has been vocal on policies relating to minors. She has frequently taken to social media and issued press releases criticizing allowing minors to use puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and sex-change surgeries before reaching adulthood.
The congresswoman’s first bill looked to bar “construing the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 in a manner that would require forgoing the maintenance of sex-segregated spaces (such as bathrooms) and of sex-segregated athletic or academic programs by educational institution.” Miller also took the lead on a bill to “amend the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 to provide that a school may not act as the agent of a parent of a child for purposes of providing verifiable parental consent to the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information of the child, and for other purposes.”
Miller’s campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Critics of the congresswoman argue that her rhetoric surrounding policies aimed at “protecting minors” is hypocritical. One source noted that a summer camp run by her family featured twice-removed Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore as a speaker. Moore came under fire during his 2017 GOP Senate bid after nine women accused him of inappropriate sexual or social conduct, some of whom were under the age of 18.
Additionally, campaign finance reports show Miller’s husband, state Rep. Chris Miller, donated $5,000 to former Illinois state House candidate Tom McCullagh, who dropped out of his race following accusations of grooming an underage person. McCullagh has publicly denied the accusations.
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Mary Miller, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is expected to appear with Trump at a June campaign event.