Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, who led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last year as the GOP made vast inroads into the Democratic House majority, has announced she will retire.
Bustos made her announcement Friday in a video in which she said it was “time for a new voice.”
She also teased a possible future political career saying that “it will always be my goal to think big.”
“As I turn every corner on each decade of life, I take time to reflect and evaluate what my next chapter might bring,” Bustos 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 resigned as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee when the new Congress convened in January.
She was replaced by Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney of New York, according to CNN.
In its reporting on her announcement, The Washington Post noted that Bustos “drew fire from fellow Democrats last fall after guiding the DCCC to a near-disastrous Election Day.
“While many in both parties and independent analysts thought Democrats would modestly pad their House majority in November, they instead lost 11 seats and nearly surrendered control of the chamber to Republicans.”
Bustos was first elected to Congress in 2012, unseating then-incumbent Republican Bobby Schilling, according to Ballotpedia.
Although in 2016 and in 2018 she received more than 60 percent of the vote in cruising to re-election, last fall she polled 52 percent in narrowly defeating Republican Esther Joy King.
King, a reservist with the Army, has already indicated she will run for the seat in 2022, according to Politico.
A spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee said Bustos made “the right decision to retire rather than face defeat in 2022.”
The northwestern Illinois district Bustos represents went to former President Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020.
David Wasserman, the House editor for the Cook Political Report, said Bustos was among only seven Democrats to win in Trump districts.
Her retirement is “a blow to Dem prospects for keeping the majority,” he tweeted.