CHICAGO (CBS) — Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) on Wednesday announced she’ll run for Congress, seeking to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, dropping her bid for Illinois Secretary of State.

Dowell, who chairs the City Council Budget Committee, is the first candidate to announce plans to run for Rush’s seat since he announced Tuesday he would not seek a 16th term in office.

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“I want to recognize the numerous contributions of Congressman Bobby Rush in his lifetime of service to further civil rights and protect underserved communities, particularly those of color. Congressman Rush has led the fight for racial justice and inspired many,” Dowell wrote in a series of tweets announcing her bid for Congress.

An alderman since 2007, Dowell also is the Democratic committeeperson of the 3rd Ward on the South Side.

In jumping into the race for Rush’s seat, Dowell is dropping out of the race to replace retiring Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. After former Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias won the backing of the Cook County Democratic Party last month, Dowell said she would have to reconsider her campaign.

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“I am grateful for the support people have given me in the Secretary of State race. Recent events, both here in Illinois and across the country, have led me to decide to make this run for Congress,” Dowell wrote.

As of the end of September, Dowell had more than $460,000 in her campaign fund, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Since then she has raised $90,800 more. Her next quarterly report on donations and expenses is due on Jan. 15.

She joins four other candidates who had already entered the race for the state’s 1st District seat in Congress before Rush announced he would not seek another term: My Block, My Hood, My City founder Jahmal Cole, pastor Chris Butler, teachers Kirby Birgans and Dee Nix, and Michael Thompson.

Rush’s decision not to run for re-election likely will attract even more Democrats to run for his seat. Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) also has said he’s considering a run, as is activist Ja’Mal Green. Sources also told CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov that state Sen. Jacqui Collins (D-Chicago) is seriously eyeing a run for Rush’s seat, at the urging of lawmakers.

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