Washington, founder of The Washington Group and former chief operating officer of Michael Reese Hospital, became at least the eighth candidate to announce her candidacy for the 2nd Congressional District seat vacated by Jackson Nov. 21 for health reasons and amid an investigation into alleged campaign fund irregularities.
The other contenders include: Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale of Chicago, Clifford Eagleton of Harvey, former state Rep. Robin Kelly of Matteson, state Rep. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields. Victor Jonathan (formerly Victor Onafuye) of Country Club Hills, former Northwestern University football star Napoleon Harris of Flossmoor and convicted former 2nd District Congressman Mel Reynolds.
The deadline for filing is Monday. A primary will be held Feb. 26 and the special general election will be April 9.
Washington's announcement release noted that when she ran for Illinois lieutenant governor in 2002, she received more than 63 percent of the vote in the current 2nd District.
She said her three primary objects, if elected, would be "to bring jobs to the district, to work with medical professionals to make sure the Affordable Health Care Act brings quality health care to all, and to empower women by ensuring that once, and for all, they receive equally pay for the work they do."
She said she would refuse the congressional healthcare plan until everyone in the district has the same coverage.