Cheri Bustos may have had enough or she may have seen the writing on the wall. Former President Trump was victorious in her district in both 2016 and 2020 and her chances of victory could be fading away. Either way, the Democrat Representative from Illinois has announced her retirement.
According to The Hill:
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) announced on Friday she won’t seek reelection in 2022.
“As I have rounded each new decade of my career, I’ve taken time to reflect on how I can best serve. That’s how, 10 years ago, I decided to run for Congress,” Bustos said in a video announcing her decision. “And it’s why today, I’m announcing I will not seek reelection after completing this term. It will be a new decade, and I feel it’s time for a new voice.”
Bustos, a former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairwoman who led her party’s efforts to recapture the House majority in 2018, has faced increasingly difficult political prospects as her western Illinois congressional district has drifted rightward.
Her decision to retire comes after a particularly trying reelection campaign in 2020. She ultimately won that race, but only by a narrow 4-point margin — far less than her nearly 25-point win in 2018. Former President Trump carried her district by about 1.5 percentage points in November.
Another thing to consider is redistricting. Illinois is controlled by Democrats and her district could have been strengthened with redistricting. Bustos has said that her decision to retire was not a political one but one where she just wanted some change.