Erika Harold under fire after reports of same-sex adoption comments

Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold is fending off reports that as a 20-year-old during the Miss Illinois contestant in 2000, she said she would be more likely to place a child in foster care with heterosexual child abusers than with a gay couple.

NBC 5 reported Friday that Harold, now 37, was asked the question during a closed-door interview at the Drury Lane Oakbrook Hotel.

The report, citing unnamed sources, said Harold would have chosen an abusive straight couple.

Calling the NBC 5 report "a political hit piece," a spokesman for Harold's campaign said she "did not recall the specific exchange alleged." Spokesman Jason Heffley acknowledged in an email that Harold, at 20, did not support same-sex adoption but said she "has changed her position."

"She acknowledges that position was wrong and now strongly supports same-sex adoption and foster placement," Heffley said.

Harold did not win Miss Illinois that year, but she did later and went on to win the Miss America title in 2003.

Harold's GOP primary opponent, Gary Grasso - a DuPage County Board member and former Burr Ridge mayor - released a statement condemning the reported exchange.

Grasso has been the focus of controversy in this race, too. Last month, he returned nearly $30,000 in campaign contributions that exceeded state limits for donors or improperly came from foreign entities.

Citing his inexperience running a statewide campaign, Grasso said he made a mistake.

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