With a friendly family barbecue on a Rock Island County farm as the backdrop, U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling made his bid for re-election official Saturday.

The freshman congressman for Illinois’ 17th District fired up a crowd of more than 250 county Republicans and their families as they basked in the afternoon sunshine at Kenny Bush Farms in Milan.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time,” Schilling said, detailing some of the victories he says he has had during his first term on behalf of the Rock Island Arsenal, the Interstate 74 bridge, working families and veterans. “But we have a lot more work to do.”

In a show “that freshmen can get work done,” he touted his role in bipartisan efforts that landed three key provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that will help spur job creation at the Rock Island Arsenal.

Schilling also claimed victory in the recent move by Illinois to put $72 million into its long-range transportation plan for the future I-74 bridge.

“Illinois had no money on the table,” he said, adding that another bipartisan effort brought U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to the Quad-Cities, where the secretary urged Congress to pass a bipartisan transportation bill.

Looking forward, Schilling said he plans to focus on getting the Thomson federal prison opened.

“We’ve got a couple hundred-million-dollar investment just sitting there,” he said, adding that opening the prison would invest “$90 million a year immediately into the local economy.”

He also vowed to continue pushing for legislation that will reduce the unemployment rate and create a more business-friendly environment.

“At the end of the day, it’s about putting people back to work,” he said.

As the owner of a small family pizza restaurant and father of 10 children, Schilling said, “I understand what it takes to balance a budget and create an environment for job creation.”

When his wife of 26 years, Christie, introduced her husband, she recalled how the county Republicans thanked them for “filling that spot on the ballot.”

Her husband also remembered how “so many told us it couldn’t be done,” talking of his eventual victory over Democratic incumbent Phil Hare.

In November, he faces a new Democratic challenger, Cheri Bustos, a former Quad-City Times journalist and hospital executive and former East Moline alderwoman.

“To my opponent, ‘Game on,’” he said.

Shilling also encouraged the crowd to work on behalf of all the Republican candidates at the local, state and national levels.

Marilyn Bush, who hosted the campaign announcement with her husband, Kenny, said she has known Schilling since he first became a childhood friend of her son, Steve.

“We support Bobby because we share the same values on family that he does,” she said. “We know he is doing the best job he can.”

Rock Island County GOP Chairwoman Susie Carpentier said the event also served as a way to get new people energized in helping Schilling and the party.

“It’s great to see people bringing their kids here,” she said. “It’s a process they’re going to have to learn.”

She also recalled the doubts the party had two years ago.

“People said Bobby didn’t have a chance,” Carpentier said. “But then he carried Rock Island County and retired that Democratic seat.”

(8) comments

Fred W

Booby gloats about all he has done for the Arsenal yet his voting record tells a different story. He voted in lockstep with the rest of the Republicans for their plan to fund the payroll tax holiday through freezing government workers' COLA and cutting additional federal jobs. Fortunately, this proposal for funding was never enacted. Also, he favors Romney's plan to cut 200,000 federal jobs. In his TV commercial he hypes his support for repeal of Obamacare yet offers no alternative. Tell us Bobby, what are your plans to insure the estimated 14.1 million people that will no longer be covered? This includes 2.5 million 18-26 year-olds currently on their parents' policy, millions of kids with pre-existing conditions, and millions of adults with acquired life-threatening conditions. And how do you plan to aid the millions of seniors caught in the costly "donuthole" who will instantly lose their Part D Prescription Drug funding? Where's your plan, Bobby?


Mr. Bob`s for Jobs as it turns out has become Mr. Bobs for pandering. You sir claim you have sent jobs bills to the senate only to have them rejected while your rant on about those nasty dems. How about just one time you find some middle ground and sent a compromise bill tom them and see what happens?

The horror of it all there just might be a jobs bill that passes, and actually creates some new jobs, but then Obama might just get some credit and we all know your only goal is making Obama a one term president in lock step with Boehner and McConnell.


It is amazing he won!? With the narrow view comment section at the Times, as usual, you would think that he lost his last election in his district. I mean the district was drawn in the most partisan way in Illinois to guarantee a Dem to win the seat for last 50 years. Now Shilling beats them at their own game and they are angry. They love spending trillions of taxpayer money, hand over fist, but complain about Shilling doing the same. So you rail against Shilling for standing up for the Arsenal, hypocrite or not, but if it were a Dem doing such a thing you would be patting him or her on the back. Now who is the hypocrite. The spoiled children of that district that have had ONE PARTY rule for the past half century have one of the job depressed districts in all of the state. Keep picking the same choice over and over and you keep getting the same result. The best was the Times and the Dems blaming Shilling for the I-74 funding not being there. He has been there for 1.5 years and it is HIS fault alone that the bridge hasn't been built in the last 20 years, or the next 20 years. Enjoy NOV!


Yep, Bobby, the one hit wonder. Voted out for abusing money, just as he accused his last opponent. Oh yeah, and lying in his campaign adds.

Schilling is against cutting spending, and you just confirm he's doing the same.

Here's to another 50 years of democratic rule.

Why wouldn't Schilling be blamed for the 74 bridge issues? Only a fool wouldn't. Hint, Gadfly, he was in office, promising to cut funds and get a bridge, and he won't vote for any bill that was initiated by, or voted for by dems.

Yep, it's Bobby Schilling, the liar's fault. Quit being a pathetic little troll, and study the news.

coffee cup
coffee cup

Yup, govt spending is bad, unless it's for MY district. The GOP way. Where are those jobs Bobby? It's only May and already Bobby is flooding the airways with ads. Is that desperation I smell Pizza Boy?


Isn't it great the "drive by media" exposed this clown for who he really is? The man makes an issue about the dollar amount of re-election mailings Democrat Hare sent out, then he was just exposed for mailing out almost $293,000 worth, SECOND highest in congress, almost three times as much as Hare. What a hypocrite!!!...so typical!!!


If Schilling was a true fiscal conservative, he would be railing against the billions of taxpayer money that is wasted at a place like the Rock Island Arsenal. But, like most Republicans, Schilling doesn't mind that type of socialism which redistributes money from the working class to billion-dollar defense contracts America no longer needs. The GOP likes wasting money on things we can use to destroy other people. Who cares if grandma is freezing to death in the winter or doesn't have enough money to buy her medicine?!?! We need more tanks to hunt down Bin Laden's gardener and more tax cuts for Mitt Romney.


Wouldn't it be nice if these same people who are saying now,Schilling is doing the best he can do,and he has the same family value.If they could take a step back and work with the POTUS,on issues,and have the patience to work with him,he is doing the best he can do with a bunch that thinks only of getting re-elected,not taking care of the working middle class,and those who don't have jobs.The Republicans who think of the Rich,and how to eliminate their tax base,even when not creating those valuable jobs they talk about? The President lives a life close to most workers,and his family values are the same for his family as most of ours.

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