Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced Friday she will retire in 2022, citing her reflection on the "next chapter" of her life. Bustos presided over the DCCC during the 2020 cycle and is one of just seven House Democrats representing a seat Donald Trump carried last fall. She won reelection by four points in 2020, her closest margin since winning the seat in 2012.
Bustos is now the fourth Democrat to forgo reelection, after Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02) and Filemon Vela (TX-34) announced retirements and Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13) launched a Senate bid. All four of their seats could be substantially redrawn and are potentially at risk of a GOP takeover. And, there will certainly be more exits that complicate the DCCC's already-tenuous math for 2022.
Democrats control redistricting in Illinois, and it's possible Bustos's retirement could allow them to shore up Rep. Lauren Underwood by shifting Rockford into her 14th CD. But that would likely foreclose Democrats' ability to draw a 14D-3R map in the state, because other parts of Bustos's district, including Rock Island and Peoria, could be sacrificed to Republicans.
Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call