'I took a deeper look': 14th District candidate cuts ties with conservative group that backed her
Milton said the Kingdom Conservative Party gave her campaign about $1,000 to cover gasoline purchases.
A suburban Republican congressional candidate has distanced herself from a pro-Christian, conservative political group with which she'd been aligned, saying she disagrees with many of its tenets -- especially strict limits on divorce and eliminating court-ordered child support.
Jaime Milton, a Fox River Grove resident running in Illinois' 14th District, said she reevaluated her association with the Kingdom Conservative Party after a media inquiry.
"I took a deeper look," said Milton, a former business vice president. "There are some things that I really had concerns about."
A Kingdom Conservative Party representative couldn't be reached for comment.
Milton's departure from the group comes more than a month before the June 28 primary election and less than two weeks before early voting begins May 19.
In addition to Milton, four other Republicans are running for the chance to face Democratic incumbent Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville in the Nov. 8 general election: Scott Gryder of Oswego; Michael Koolidge of Rochelle; Jack Lombardi of Manhattan; and James Marter of Oswego.
Redrawn for the 2022 election, the 14th District encompasses parts of Kane, Will, DeKalb, Kendall, LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.
Based in Tennessee, the Kingdom group first surfaced on social media in December. It has a decidedly Christian message, using a cross in one of its logos and declaring in an early tweet that "this is a Christian nation."
The group expresses intolerance of non-Christians on its website, too, saying that those who don't follow Jesus are doomed to eternity in hell.
Milton said she doesn't believe it's her role "to force my beliefs on anyone else."
She said she strongly disagrees with the Kingdom Conservative Party's stance that divorce should only be allowed in cases involving adultery or when "an unbelieving spouse" no longer wants to be married.
"What do I say to the person who's being abused by their spouse, either physically or (emotionally)?" Milton said.
Milton also disagrees with the group's objection to court-mandated child support, which it calls an "unconstitutional practice" that's allowed socialism "to permeate our nation."
The Bible says parents are responsible for taking care of their children, Milton said, and she's fine with courts enforcing that responsibility.
Milton said she isn't fond of the party's disdain for government aid for the poor, either. While the group called it "a pathway to communism," Milton said she supports "giving people financial assistance to get them on their feet."
Milton no longer is listed as a Kingdom Conservative Party candidate on the group's website. Also, a Milton campaign website created by the group no longer exists.
Jaimemilton.com now redirects visitors to a fairly sparse fundraising page featuring information about Milton. Notably absent is a long video in which Milton talked about her personal struggles and her development as a Christian.
The Kingdom Conservative Party hasn't provided Milton any personnel or campaign cash, she said -- only the website and reimbursements for about $1,000 worth of gasoline.
Unlike the other 14th District candidates, Milton didn't submit a quarterly financial report to the Federal Election Commission last month.
When asked about Milton's association with the group, most of the other candidates declined to comment or didn't respond. The only one who did respond was Marter, who said he was previously unfamiliar with the group but is very concerned about some of its platform points.