WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Re-electing Rep. Cheri Bustos will be a top priority for the Democratic Party in 2014 according to a news release placed on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee website. Bustos beat incumbant Republican Bobby Schilling in the 17th District race last November by a comfortable 6 percentage points, but benefitted in part from a Presidential campaign which improved Democratic turnout, an advantage she could not count on in an off-year election.
Bustos is one of 26 Members of Congress on the 2013-2014 'Frontline' Program. "We call this program Frontline for a reason - these Members are on the vanguard of protecting and expanding the middle class," said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel in the release. "While the 2014 campaign will be dominated by a strong offense taking on the Tea Party Republican Congress, our success begins with our Members. These battle-tested men and women have proven time and again that they can win because no one better reflects the values of their districts. Under the leadership of Representative Tim Walz, the Frontline Program will multiply Members' strengths, and make sure they are positioned to compete and win - so they can continue to address the problems facing America's middle class."
Republicans, however, sense an opportunity to retake the seat even though it was redistricted after the 2010 census to favor Democratic candidates. "Nancy Pelosi, Cheri Bustos' own party leader, is telling the world that she is one of the most likely members to not return after the 2014 election. It's not shocking since Bustos has already gone Washington, putting party ideology ahead of what's right for the families of Illinois," said National Republican Campaign Committee Spokeswoman Katie Prill.
It is not known if Schilling will run again against Bustos in an attempt to retake the seat.
2013-2014 DCCC Frontline Members
Representative Ron Barber (AZ-02)
Representative John Barrow (GA-12)
Representative Ami Bera (CA-07)
Representative Tim Bishop (NY-01)
Representative Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Representative Lois Capps (CA-24)
Representative Suzan DelBene (WA-01)
Representative Bill Enyart (IL-12)
Representative Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
Representative Pete Gallego (TX-23)
Representative Joe Garcia (FL-26)
Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)
Representative Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02)
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)
Representative Dan Maffei (NY-24)
Representative Jim Matheson (UT-04)
Representative Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
Representative Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Representative Bill Owens (NY-21)
Representative Scott Peters (CA-52)
Representative Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Representative Brad Schneider (IL-10)
Representative Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)
Representative Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Representative John Tierney (MA-06)