Former U.S. Rep. for Illinois' 17th congressional district Bobby Schilling has announced plans to run for his old seat, which he lost to U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos in the last election. Schilling, a businessman who owns a pizzeria, plans to focus on economic issues during his bid to regain his old job.
“As a father, husband, employer and laborer, I can tell you that the middle class is falling further behind,” said Schilling. “The people of Illinois deserve a member of Congress who understands their worries and values, and leads by example. To combat unemployment, stagnant wages and rising prices, the middle class is going to need a lot more than just lip-service and rhetoric. We’re going to need a leader from and for the middle class, who puts people ahead of politics and self-promotion.”
In the press release announcing his plan to run in the 2014 race, Schilling blasted Bustos' job in Congress thus far and President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
“The middle class is getting crushed by rising prices, stagnant wages and a government that has forgotten about them,” said Schilling in the announcement. “Not only are our groceries and gas prices going up, but our health care premiums in Illinois are estimated to rise at least 61% because of Obamacare. Incumbent Congresswoman Bustos has proven during her time in Washington that she doesn’t understand or feel the pain of middle class families. We need a true representative fighting for us in Washington and incumbent Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has refused to act.”
Schilling lost to Bustos in a close election that resulted in the former lawmaker being embroiled in an offshoring controversy as some 130 or more workers in his district lost their jobs when Bain Capital-owned Sensata Technologies shipped their jobs overseas to China. Schilling's then-constituents called on the lawmaker to take a stance on the issue, defend them and speak out against the offshoring of their jobs by a company associated with the then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, but he pretty much refused to get involved.
UPDATE 1 (3:47 P.M.): "Congresswoman Bustos is focused on job creation, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and serving the people of Illinois' 17th Congressional District, not an election that is over a year away," said Bustos' communications director Colin Milligan in response to Schilling's announcement.