A member of the school board for Thornton Township High School District 205 has plans to run for the seat in Congress that has been vacant since the resignation last month of Jesse Jackson Jr.
Toni Williams, who was elected to a four-year term on the high school board in the 2011 elections, is circulating nominating petitions to gain a spot on the ballot for the Feb. 26 Democratic primary special election in the 2nd Congressional District.
Her husband is Ken Williams, who is president of the District 205 School Board.
Toni Williams said “there’s nothing wrong” with any of the nearly 20 other candidates who have indicated an interest in seeking the congressional seat. But she said she thinks her experience on the school board has given her a close view of education issues that she could put to use as a member of Congress.
Toni Williams said her husband’s business — the Silk ‘n’ Classy barber college at 804 E. Sibley Blvd., in Dolton — has given her a base to begin gathering support.
“A lot of people here are excited to see a woman run, even though there are other women running, too,” she said.
Nominating petitions for the special election in the district that stretches from 53rd Street in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood south to the Kankakee/Iroquois County line, are due to the Illinois State Board of Elections the first full week of January.
Toni Williams, 44, of Dolton, ran as a Green Party candidate in 2011 when she won the school board seat. She has never run for any other elected position.
She serves as the barber college’s director, and is a 1986 alumna of Thornton High School and 1987 graduate in accounting of the now-defunct Illinois School of Commerce.