DCCC’s Cheri Bustos wins re-election in Illinois after scrappy fight

on Nov5
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Democratic incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos has won re-election in Illinois’s 17th congressional district.

Bustos, the chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, defeated young Republican challenger Esther Joy King on Thursday, according to the Fox News Decision Desk. 

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Bustos won by 51.84 percentage points to King’s 48.16 percentage points, or 153,266 votes to 142,406, respectively.

The five-term congresswoman was one of Republicans’ top targets, according to The Hill.

Outside groups, including the Congressional Leadership Fund, ran ads against Bustos.

The incumbent candidate outraised King almost three times over, however, raking in almost $4 million to King’s nearly $1.7 million. 

Bustos won her seat in 2012 by defeating incumbent Republican Bobby Schilling. Four years later, she bested the GOP’s Patrick Harlan by 21 percentage points and even widened the margin in her 2018 takedown of Bill Falwell. 

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King, a reserve captain in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps, lawyer and former aid worker, defeated Falwell in the March primary.

During the campaign, she argued that Bustos was part of the Washington swamp, while Bustos retorted that King didn’t know the district. Bustos, who also emphasized the Democratic platform on the Affordable Care Act, has been critical of local hospital Mercyhealth’s decision to eliminate multiple Medicaid providers.

“I am honored and proud to have been re-elected,” Bustos wrote in a statement. “Together, we have fought to protect and expand access to health care, rebuild our economy, strengthen our infrastructure and make our part of Illinois better for hardworking families.”

Prior to her election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Bustos served on the East Moline City Council and worked both as a journalist and in the health services industry. 

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Bustos currently serves on the House Agriculture Committee as well as the House Appropriations Committee.





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