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Bustos Stepping Down As Chair of House Democrats' Campaign Arm

Tim Shelley
Cheri Bustos

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos said Monday she's stepping aside as leader of the House Democrats' campaign efforts.

The Moline lawmaker said she won't run for another term as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Though Democrats retained the House majority in 2020, the party unexpectedly lost seats in a presidential election year that ushered Joe Biden into the White House. That included several moderate Democrats holding seats in swing districts considered pivotal to Democrats' hold on the majority.

Bustos became chair last year after decisively beating back poorly-funded competitors in her district in 2016 and 2018. The district swung toward Donald Trump after voting for Barack Obama twice.

In a statement, Bustos said she feels it's time to step aside now that Democrats control both the Oval Office and U.S. House for the first time in a decade.

"Rather than seek a second term as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, I will instead focus my work on exciting legislative possibilities in the years to come. As a member of the House Appropriations and Agriculture committees, I am well-positioned to turn my focus to strengthening infrastructure and health care in the cities, small towns and rural areas I serve," she said.

Bustos herself only hung onto her seat by about four points against Republican challenger Esther Joy King, a lawyer and Army Reserve officer. She won by a thinner margin than in 2012, when she ousted incumbent Republican Rep. Bobby Schilling with 54 percent of the vote.

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