Fifth Democrat announces intention to succeed Cheri Bustos in Congress

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Marsha Williams of Channahon, Ill., is the fifth Democrat to seek the open 2022 Illinois 17th District seat in Congress.

The crowded race to succeed U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) got more so Monday, as a fifth Democrat — Marsha Williams – announced she will seek the open Congressional seat in the newly drawn Illinois 17th District. 

As an admissions advisor at a trade school, she helps hundreds of unemployed and underemployed folks every year by connecting them with the skills to succeed in good-paying jobs, according to Williams’ campaign site, Her work is a direct extension of her activism and volunteering. 

In April of this year, Williams announced a bid for the Illinois 16th District seat, to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger — and ran an unapologetically progressive campaign focused on Medicare for All, reliable and safe infrastructure, and good-paying jobs. In the wake of Kinzinger’s retirement and the redistricting process, Williams has decided to shift her movement to the open seat in the 17th District.

“When I first announced my run for Congress, I set out to fire Adam Kinzinger because as his constituent, I was frustrated by how disconnected he is from our community,” she said in a Monday release. “He rarely held town halls or listened to the people in his district, and it was clear to me that he was more beholden to corporate interests than the people he’s supposed to serve.

“Now that he is retiring, I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that one less Republican who enabled Donald Trump’s agenda will be in office.

“But, the problems we need to fix are bigger than any one representative or any one district,” Williams said. “Too many in Washington, D.C. are a lot like Adam — they’re in the pocket of big corporations and they vote in favor of extremist GOP policies. So while Kinzinger may be on his way out, we still have work to do.

“After talking to my family, to those who believed in my candidacy, and my team, we all concluded that the best place to continue our fight for working people is in the open seat of IL-17,” she said.

“IL-17 deserves a representative who will truly stand up for, and be accountable to, the people — not corporate donors and lobbyists,” Williams said. “Corporate PACs are going to be gunning for this open seat, but I’m not taking any of their money. I’m counting on regular people like you to have my back.”
Williams is a lifelong resident of Illinois and works to provide job training for low-income individuals and families. She was a single mother for many years working multiple jobs to make ends meet and understands what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.

As a member of the working class, she said she fights for the issues that will improve the lives of everyday families — which includes universal healthcare, tuition-free colleges and trade schools, and a Green New Deal which would create millions of jobs and fix broken infrastructure. She is a graduate of Purdue Global University with a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies and resides in Channahon, southwest of Joliet, Ill.

Williams was the Minooka Community High School alumni board chair from 2013-2016, and organized alumni football games that raised thousands of dollars for the athletic and band booster clubs. She was on the planning committee for the Bold Urban Renaissance Network, which bolsters the Chicagoland arts community, from 2014-2017.

From 2015-2017, she volunteered for the Chiditarod Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at alleviating hunger through direct action. 

Other Democrats seeking the 2022 Congressional nomination are former Illinois State Representative Litesa Wallace, former TV meteorologist Eric Sorensen, Rockford Alderman Jonathan Logemann, and Rock Island County Board member Angie Normoyle.

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