Illinois Democrat Rep. Cheri Bustos Announces Retirement

Written by Martin Walsh

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion




Illinois Democrat Rep. Cheri Bustos announced Friday she would retire from Congress after this term.

“As I turn every corner on each decade of life, I take time to reflect and evaluate what my next chapter might bring,” she said in a statement. “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 represents a district in northwestern Illinois that has shifted to the right.

Donald Trump won her district twice, and she won reelection by a narrower margin than expected in 2020.

Bustos is not some unknown Democrat, either.

The Illinois congresswoman has held a number of leadership roles at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which helps elect Democrats to the House.

She helped recruit new candidates and flip some Republican seats to Democrat seats in the 2016 election cycle.

In the 2018 cycle, she oversaw the DCCC’s efforts to boost Democrats in the Midwest.

Read Bustos’ full statement announcing her retirement:

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. 

It has been an honor to be a voice for our family farmers, working families, those struggling to afford healthcare and so many more. Each time I traveled to Washington, I brought those voices with me to elevate our region and bring real and lasting change.

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From helping Gold Star families and injured veterans get the help they needed after serving our nation, to increasing rural access to broadband, ensuring everyone has the resources needed to compete in our modern economy, to replacing toxic lead water pipes, I have always worked across the aisle to deliver solutions for Illinois families. It has been my profound honor to do this work, and I am proud of the progress we have made together.

But know this—our work isn’t done. It’s not only happening in the halls of Congress, but also in the aisles of our small town grocery stores, on our factory floors and on family farms. While I won’t be in Congress after January 2023, I will be here advancing the needs for our communities for the remainder of my term.

Thank you for your trust, support and friendship all these years.