Bustos Claims 17th Congressional District

Nov 4, 2014

The 17th Congressional District will stay in Democratic hands.

The district covers urban and rural areas of the Quad-Cities, Peoria, and portions of Rockford.

Bustos told supporters she and Schilling had a different vision and values, but credited him with running a campaign with passion and spirit.

"It's critical that we find ways to bring in everyday people into the fold and that we talk with people about seeing federal government as an entity that will work with them as opposed to one that's working for them or doing things to them," Bustos said. "I want to play a role in that. That means as your Congresswoman, I need to continue to find ways to engage you in this room and beyond, way beyond the ballot box."

Schilling spoke with reporters about some of that passion behind running for public office in the first place.

"I am one of those guys, I never had any intention to run for an office, but I got sick and tired of sitting back and watching the destruction of the Land of Lincoln...Ronald Reagan. If you look at what's going on here, there's only one excuse as to why Illinois is where it's at. It's because of bad politicians taking us in the wrong direction."

He says fundraising was an obstacle in this election.

"It's pretty tough when your opponent spends about $6 million, and you have a lot of outside money. It's difficult for anybody running any race that's out there. It's always an issue, but it's just something that you deal with."

Kym Mans of Rock Island says Bustos has made employment a priority during her time in Washington.

"I know for a fact that Cheri gets in there, she sees something that needs to get done, and she gets it done."

Mans says Bustos needs more time to keep working for the district.

"It takes time to get everything done, and her work is not finished."

Mark Hilton of Milan came out to show his support for Bobby Schilling. He says he does not agree with Cheri Bustos on social issues.

"She's a guaranteed Democratic vote for anything and that's really rough. That happens a lot even if they try to do a good job, they're that guaranteed Democratic vote that's going to shoot down some good work."

Bill Floyd of East Moline says Bustos has worked to improve the lives of veterans.

"Cause we've got a long road to go before they are all well. I think she's going to do all right."

Floyd says Bustos is the right fit for the sprawling district.

"She has a good mind for the people. She has a feel for them. That goes a long way in this day in age, especially with the economy being the way it is."

It was a contentious race. At the tail end of the campaign, a top staffer for Bustos resigned amid a secret recording in which the staffer characterized Rockford constituents as more likely to go to jail than church. The Schilling campaign held onto the audio for months before releasing it. The person who reportedly made the recording previously worked on Schilling's campaign, but Schilling's camp said they did not orchestrate the tape. Once the recording was made public, Bustos said the comments of the staffer did not reflect her own values.