Candidates Sound Off on Harold Gay Adoption Comment Controversy

The Republican race for attorney general has one of the candidates calling for Erika Harold to drop out.

Gary Grasso responded to NBC 5's exclusive report Friday over her controversial remarks on gay adoptions. Grasso reacted Harold's response to a question when she ran for Miss Illinois in 2000 -- four sources who do not want to be identified -- but were present at the time -- say when she was asked about placing a child in foster care and the choice was loving gay parents or a heterosexual couple who were known child abusers, those four sources Harold choose the abusers.

"I'm asking Erika Harold withdraw as a candidate for attorney general," Grasso said.

Harold has not yet spoken publicly.

Her spokesman released a written statement saying Harold does not recall the specific remarks.

"This shows who she really is," Grasso said. "And when people show who they are--believe them."

James Mcintyre is a former foster child who is part of the Foster Care Alumni of America.

"I'm looking for an apology," he told NBC 5, adding that he had traumatic experiences as a foster child. "The adoptive parents later then turned to abuse me for seven years."

Harold's spokesman released a new statement Friday reading in full:

“It is troubling that NBC Chicago chose to run with a political hit piece based on anonymous sources that occurred almost twenty years ago.

"Two decades ago when Erika was 20 years old, she did not support same sex adoption. It was a different era when many from both political parties did not support it. Erika, like many others, has changed her position on the issue over the last twenty years. She acknowledges that position was wrong and now strongly supports same sex adoption and foster placement.

"She does not recall the specific exchange alleged by anonymous sources. If some form of that exchange did occur, it was wrong and it is in no way reflective of how Erika feels or has lived her life. She has spent her career working to protect the interests of the undeserved and advocating for those who have been bullied and abused.”

Back in 2014 -- Harold's response to the gay adoption question were mentioned in the book "Being Miss America," by Kate Shindle, about the Miss America pageant.

Democrats running for attorney general are weighing in.

"I can firmly say that I would not make such a statement," Kwame Raoul told reporters.

Sharon Fairley spoke with NBC 5 by phone.

"She needs to come out and make it clear to us where she stands on these issues," she said.

Those running for governor say have also become vocal.

"Guess what? Every body has said something dumb when they were 19," Daniel Biss said. "But there's a difference between dumb and profoundly wrong."

Chris Kennedy said a comment like the Harold is alleged to have made "has no place."

JB Pritzker said he knows "many gay couples who make terrific parents."

Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has contributed more than $350,000 to Harold's campaign has not commented on the controversy.

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