Rep. Bustos reflects on time in office after decision not to seek re-election in 2022

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/AP) — A Stateline lawmaker looks back on her time representing our part of Illinois in the nation’s capital. US Representative Cheri Bustos will not run for re-election, announcing last week her decision to “reflect and evaluate what my next chapter might bring.

She’s held the 17th District office for a decade and has 20 months left in her term. Bustos tells us one of the things she’s most proud of is securing a total of $80 million in funding for Rockford’s airport.

The representative says she’s enjoyed getting out into the community and learning about what issues matter most to her constituents.

“I hope that whoever ends up running for this seat and serving in this seat understands that God gave us two ears and one mouth and we should use those proportionality and listen to people. And then guide what you do in a roll like this by the people who you serve,” said Rep. Bustos (D) 17th District.

Republicans Esther Joy King and Charlie Helmick have announced they will campaign for the empty seat.

Illinois will lose one House seat in 2023 following the reapportionment of congressional districts triggered by last year’s Census, and Democrats controlling the process are sure to redraw the lines to maximize their chances.

Trump narrowly carried Bustos’ district last November after Democrat Hillary Clinton won it by 17 percentage points in 2016, underscoring its evolving tilt toward the GOP.

Bustos is among four House Democrats who are not seeking reelection next year, compared to five Republicans.

Democrats currently have a 218-212 House advantage, with five vacancies.

That leaves party leaders needing nearly unanimous support to move President Joe Biden’s agenda through the chamber.

It also means Republicans need only to gain a handful of seats in 2022 to win control. History shows that the party that does not hold the White House usually gains large numbers of seats in midterm elections.

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