U.S. Illinois 17th District Representative Cheri Bustos announced on Friday that she will not seek a sixth term in Congress. The Democrat has represented her northwestern Illinois district, which includes the Quad Cities area, Peoria and Rockford, since 2013, the first woman to do so. Her current term, her fifth, ends in January of 2023.
In a release announcing her decision, Bustos stated:
"My North Star has always been to serve my community, drive real results and build a better future. As I turn every corner on each decade of life, I take time to reflect and evaluate what my next chapter might bring. That’s how, 10 years ago, I decided to run for Congress. And it’s why, today, I am announcing I will not seek reelection after completing this term."
Bustos took office after defeating incumbent Republican Bobby Schilling in 2012 and won a rematch in 2014. She was re-elected handily in 2016 and 2018, but in 2020 her win came with a much smaller margin.
During her time in Washington, Bustos has served on the House Agriculture Committee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the House Appropriations Committee. She also served as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. After a disappointing showing for House Democrats in the 2020 election, Bustos announced she would not seek a second term as chair.
Bustos is a former journalist, healthcare communications executive and East Moline City Council member who grew up in Springfield and currently lives in the Quad Cities.