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Cheri Bustos Announces Retirement From Congress After Leading House Democrats To Defeat In November

Bustos Retiring

Illinois Democrat Congresswoman Cheri Bustos will not run for re-election next year after serving a decade in the lower chamber.


Illinois Democrat Congresswoman Cheri Bustos announced Friday she will not run for re-election next year after serving a decade in the lower chamber.

“Today, I’m announcing I will not seek reelection after completing this term,” Bustos said in a video statement. “I feel it’s time for a new voice.”

Bustos, the voice who chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) last cycle lost the Democrats 15 seats in November, putting Republicans just five seats away from reclaiming the House majority in the next election cycle. The president’s party historically fares poorly in the new administration’s first midterms. Democrats expected gains rather than losses last fall.

“As for the next chapter, it will always be my goal to think big and deliver results,” Bustos said, revealing no details for future plans. “In time, I’ll share more on where that will take me.”

The congresswoman representing northwest Illinois had already resigned from her position leading the DCCC.

According to Politico, Bustos wrote to colleagues days after the election she was “gutted at the losses we sustained” in a letter declaring her decision to not seek another term as chair of the party’s House campaign arm.

“Cheri Bustos made the right decision to retire rather than face defeat in 2022,” National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesman Mike Berg said in a statement following Friday’s announcement.

Bustos’ upcoming exit puts Illinois’ 17th Congressional District in play next year with no incumbent with a D+3 rating on the Cook Partisan Voter Index, a moderate score. President Barack Obama carried the district handily in 2012 by 17 points, while President Donald Trump captured it in 2016 by less than one.