Difference between revisions of "Cheri Bustos"

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Cheri Bustos
Cheri Bustos.jpg
U.S. House, Illinois, District 17
In office
January 2013-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 2
PredecessorBobby Schilling (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$2,212,530
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
East Moline City Council
Bachelor'sUniversity of Maryland
Master'sUniversity of Illinois
Date of birthOct. 17, 1961
Place of birthSpringfield, Illinois
ProfessionPresident of the board of directors of the Women’s Connection
Net worth$3,647,513
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Cheri Bustos campaign logo
Cheri Bustos (b. October 17, 1961 in Springfield, Illinois) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing the 17th Congressional District of Illinois since 2013.

Bustos defeated candidates Greg Aguilar and George Gaulrapp in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012. She then defeated incumbent Bobby Schilling (R) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1]

Bustos is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[2]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Bustos is a more moderate left of center Democratic Party vote. As a result, she may break with the Democratic Party line more than her fellow members.


Bustos was born in Springfield, Illinois.[3] She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her master’s degree in journalism from University of Illinois at Springfield. [3] She also attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. [3]


Below is an abbreviated outline of Bustos' academic, professional and political career[4]:

  • 2008-2012: Vice President of Public Relations and Communications at IHS
  • 2007-2011: Alderwoman on the City Council in East Moline, Illinois
  • 2002-2008: Senior Director Trinity Regional Health System
  • 1985-2002: Reporter for Quad City Times
  • 1983-1985: Attended the University of Illinois (Springfield), earned a M.A.
  • 1979-1983: Attended the University of Maryland, earned a B.S.

Committee assignments

U.S. House


Bustos serves on the following committees:[5]


Campaign themes


On her campaign website Bustos has 10 leading issues that she is concerned about. They are:[6]

  • Affordable Health Care: Excerpt: "The new reform law is not perfect, but makes real improvements in our health care system. It lowers costs for small businesses and makes sure you have coverage that cannot be taken away. It stops insurance companies from denying coverage of pre-existing conditions and allows children to stay on their parents’ health insurance for longer. I will oppose any attempts to repeal these needed reforms. Instead, we should fix what does not work and pass further improvements that focus on lowering costs, while preserving patient choice and quality."
  • Agriculture/ Rural Development: Excerpt: "We need to sustain and enhance our agricultural economy and take advantage of our natural resources as tools of economic competitiveness and growth. Soil, wind, sunshine and water are in abundant supply in our region. We can make them the foundation of development opportunities for ethanol, biodiesel, hydroelectric power and solar and wind energy. My vision to strengthen our agricultural economy, rural areas and small towns is anchored by economic growth and sustainability."
  • Education: Excerpt: "In Congress, I will work hard to support our public schools and expand educational opportunities for lifelong learning. It is an outrage that the average college graduate enters the workforce with more than $25,000 in student loan debts. If education is the priority we say it is, then we need to back it up by protecting grant programs and working to reduce student loan costs."
  • Energy and the Environment: Excerpt: "Affordable and reliable energy is critical to our economy as well as our quality of life. Unfortunately our politicians in Springfield and Washington have embraced policies that increase the cost of energy on small business and consumers as well as continue our dependency on foreign oil."
  • Jobs and the Economy: Excerpt: "In addition to strong and growing businesses, we need strong and healthy labor organizations. I believe without labor unions we would not have a middle class – and today both are shrinking. We must turn that around. That’s why have released a jobs plan and announced my campaign with a proposal to create a “Manufacturing Triangle” to focus our area on innovation and rebuilding our manufacturing base."
  • Medicare and Social Security: Excerpt: "To ensure Medicare’s long-term financial stability, we should implement common sense reforms to lower costs, like electronic medical records and better coordination of services. We should also use Medicare’s negotiating power to get better prices, including for prescription drugs. And we must do a better job of eliminating fraud and abuse to help lower costs and preserve Medicare for generations to come. I also strongly oppose any attempt to privatize Social Security or cut benefits. Social Security is a critically important element of retirement and I will fight to protect it."
  • Protecting Taxpayers & Reducing the Deficit: Excerpt: "We can start by implementing the recommendations of a nonpartisan Government Accountability Office report issued earlier this year that found widespread waste and inefficiency in federal programs. For example, the federal government has 47 job training programs, 44 of which overlap. Simply consolidating programs that overlap can save tens of billions of dollars while not impacting program quality. We should insist that Washington get more efficient and smarter, while making sure we protect the middle class and working families from higher taxes."
  • Reforming Government: Excerpt: "Part of the problem – whether it’s Washington or Springfield – is that our politicians have become so detached from the rest of us and our daily lives, that they don’t feel the same sense of urgency to solve the problems we face. That needs to change. I believe we need more everyday people in public service – people who are raising families on two incomes, who cut coupons and have to balance their checkbooks. I also support more transparency in government and additional accountability measures to ensure that our tax dollars are not wasted nor used to help pad the pockets of special interests in Washington. To borrow from one of Illinois’ best, I believe it’s time that we got back to a government of the people, by the people, for the people."
  • Veterans and Our Armed Forces: Excerpt: "We should fully fund veterans’ health care benefits and make full funding mandatory by law. Anything less is a disgrace. We must also provide state-of-the-art care for traumatic brain injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If any veteran has difficulties navigating the Veterans Administration system for care or getting their needed benefits, I will work doggedly to cut through the red-tape and get them the benefits they have earned. In addition, I support providing our service members with help returning to the workforce, financial planning, as well as job training and college opportunities."
  • Women's Issues: Excerpt: "I support a woman’s right to choose and will work to ensure that this remains a decision made by women, not the government. I believe a woman’s reproductive health is critically important and support access to family planning and reproductive freedom. In addition, I believe we should expand efforts to use stem cell research to find cures for diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s."



See also: Illinois' 17th congressional district elections, 2014

Bustos is a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program. The program is designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[2]


See also: Illinois' 17th congressional district elections, 2012

Bustos defeated incumbent Bobby Schilling.[7] Bustos ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Illinois' 17th District. Bustos had sought the nomination on the Democratic ticket. [8] The signature filing deadline was December 27, 2011, with the primary taking place on March 20, 2012. Incumbent Bobby Schilling had sought re-election on the Republican ticket.

Bustos defeated Greg Aguilar and George Gaulrapp in the Democratic primary on March 20, 2012.[1] Incumbent Bobby Schilling ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Schilling will face Bustos in the general election on November 6, 2012.

U.S. House, Illinois District 17 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngCheri Bustos 53.3% 153,519
     Republican Bobby Schilling Incumbent 46.7% 134,623
     Independent Eric Reyes 0% 10
Total Votes 288,152
Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"
U.S. House, Illinois District 17 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngCheri Bustos 54.4% 18,652
George Gaulrapp 25.8% 8,838
Greg Aguilar 19.8% 6,798
Total Votes 34,288

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Bustos is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Bustos raised a total of $2,212,530 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 7, 2013.[9]

Cheri Bustos's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. House (Illinois, District 17) Won $2,212,530
Grand Total Raised $2,212,530


Breakdown of the source of Bustos's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Bustos won election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Bustos's campaign committee raised a total of $2,212,530 and spent $2,187,283.[10]


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Bustos is a "centrist Democratic follower," as of June 17, 2013.[11]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Information on 2012 vote rating is unavailable.

Lifetime missed votes

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Bustos missed 1 of 89 roll call votes from Jan 2013 to Mar 2013. This amounts to 1.1%, which is better than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[12]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Bustos' net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $1,248,028 and $6,046,999. That averages to $3,647,513, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Representatives in 2011 of $5,107,874.[13]

Voting with party


Cheri Bustos voted with the Democratic Party 88.7% of the time, which ranked 176th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[14]


Bustos' husband, Gerry, is a captain with the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department and is the founder and commander of the Quad-City Bomb Squad. They have three sons, Tony, Nick and Joey, a daughter-in-law, Amanda, and grandson, Keiton. [15]

Recent news

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Political offices
Preceded by
Bobby Schilling (R)
U.S. House of Representatives - Illinois, District 17
Succeeded by