Bustos, King in contest to represent Illinois’ 17th District in U.S. Congress

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Voters will have a choice between Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D) and Esther King (R) for who will represent them in the U.S. Congress this Spring, come November 3rd.

Bustos has represented Illinois’ 17th District since 2013. She was born in Springfield and has worked as an investigative reporter and in the healthcare industry prior to stepping into her current role.

King is currently a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and serves as an attorney when she is off duty.

As parts of District 17, which represents most of the northwestern portion of the state, are seeing the highest rates of COVID-19 infections in the state, each candidate shared their thoughts on how to bring more relief to the district.

“This virus has not paused for one minute, for one second, for that matter,” Bustos said. “And then, it was just about a month ago that I flew back to Washington again, to pass another relief package to send over to the Senate, and again it didn’t go anyplace else. I pray that we will have something to vote on sooner, rather than later, so we can get help out to so many of the families that are desperate for help.”

King said, “When I’m out talking to business owners, they say, ‘Esther, we can’t do another shutdown. We are already struggling. We are barely making it, right now, and we aren’t going to be able to survive if we have to go through another shutdown.’ So, some of the federal stimulus efforts that can happen, one big thing we can do is to make sure the PPE (personal protective equipment) program continues and is well funded.”

Diverse rhetoric has plagued the election season, with both District 17 candidates promising that finding middle ground in D.C. begins with themselves.

“Eighty-percent of the bills that I have voted for have been bipartisan. Eighty-percent,” Bustos says for emphasis. “Three out of every four pieces of legislation that I have written out of my office, I have had a Republican co-sponsor, from day one.”

“I think healing and togetherness in those moments comes when we have that dialogue and we have those hard conversations,” King said. “And, maybe it means instead of cutting off a conversation, it means we say, ‘I disagree with you, but I’d really like to understand where you’re coming from, so tell me more.'”

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