CHICAGO (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, a five-term Democrat from Moline, announced Friday she will not seek another term in Congress in 2022.
“My North Star has always been to serve our community, drive real results, and help build a better future. As I have rounded each new decade of my career, I’ve taken time to reflect on how I can best serve. That’s how, 10 years ago, I decided to run for Congress, and it’s why, today, I’m announcing I will not seek reelection after completing this term,” Bustos said in a video posted on her personal Twitter and Facebook accounts.
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Bustos, 59, has represented the 17th District, which covers parts of northwest and west-central Illinois, since 2013. Her retirement comes as Illinois Democrats prepare to redraw the maps for the state’s 17 congressional districts, after Illinois lost one seat in Congress this year following the latest Census.
“It will be a new decade, and I feel it’s time for a new voice. As for my tenure in Congress, well, my mission was never defined by the people in the corridors of power in Washington, but by the people in our communities, who I’ve been lucky enough to meet along the way. The people who work hard every day, and embody the very best of our country,” Bustos said.
Though she handily won re-election in 2014, 2016, and 2018 after her first term, Bustos faced a tight race for her fifth term last November, narrowly defeating Republican Esther Joy King by just four percentage points.
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King already has announced her plans to run for the 17th District seat again in 2022. The district has trended increasingly Republican in recent years. Although most voters in the district backed President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, the district favored President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
“I want to thank Cheri Bustos for her service and I wish her the best going forward. Cheri has always claimed she knew this district well – so she clearly saw what we’re seeing every day: IL-17 was going to make a change in 2022 and Cheri was destined to lose,” King said in a statement. “I’m proud to be part of a movement to bring better representation to the best people I know.”
As for Bustos, she did not offer any hints at her plans after she leaves office.
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“It will always be my goal to think big and deliver results and in time, I’ll share more on where that will take me,” she said in her announcement video.