WASHINGTON — Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., announced Friday that she will not seek re-election next year, presenting Republicans with a potential pickup opportunity as they vie to retake control of the narrowly divided House.
“It has been an honor to be a voice for our family farmers, working families, those struggling to afford healthcare and so many more,” Bustos said in a statement. “Each time I traveled to Washington, I brought those voices with me to elevate our region and bring real and lasting change.”
Bustos, 59, represents Illinois’ 17th congressional district, which covers the northwestern area of the state, including parts of the Quad Cities region as well as Peoria and Rockford. Her district narrowly voted for Trump in the last two presidential elections. Bustos defeated her Republican opponent in her re-election race last November by 4 percentage points.
The five-term Democratic lawmaker chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in the 2020 election cycle and served in the House since 2013. Before coming to Congress, Bustos worked as a reporter and editor as well as in corporate communications.
Her decision to retire at the end of 2022 presents an opportunity for Republicans to pick up her seat. Democrats narrowly hold the majority in the House, and Republicans are hoping to retake control of the chamber in the midterm elections, which historically result in losses for the president's party.
Republicans also will get a small boost from the 2020 census, which handed additional House seats to several red states — and took one seat from Illinois — and the GOP is likely to gain more in the redistricting fights to come. House Democrats now control the chamber by a 218-212 margin.
Before Bustos won the seat, a Republican, Rep. Bobby Schilling, represented the district.