ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Longtime Rockford Alderwoman Linda McNeely announced Friday that she is set to run for Rep. Cheri Bustos’ Illinois 17th District seat.

McNeely joins a crowded field in the Democratic primary, as six others have announced their bids, including former State Rep. Litesa Wallace (D), former weatherman Eric Sorenson (D), Esther Joy King (R), Charlie Helmick (R), Rockford Alderman Jonathan Logemann (D), and Rock Island County Board Member Angie Normoyle (D).

McNeely, who was born and raised in Rockford, has served on the City Council for 26 years.

She said Friday that her decision comes after months of research and outreach.

Bustos announced last year that she would not seek reelection.