Cheri Bustos

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, has announced her bid to be chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In a "Dear Colleague" letter released late Friday, Bustos said she has "the right experience and skillset to deliver real results for the Caucus in this role."

In her pursuit of the committee chair job, Bustos dropped her bid for assistant Democratic leader — the fourth highest post in the House of Representatives — which she announced Oct. 1.

Bustos said she is stepping aside for U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-New Mexico who is current chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Lujan announced his bid Wednesday for assistant Democratic leader.

Citing Lujan's role in delivering a Democratic majority in the House following Tuesday night's elections, Bustos said, "I am withdrawing from that race because I believe Chairman Lujan deserves a higher-level seat at the leadership table.

"For the last four years, Chairman Lujan has worked relentlessly to deliver the majority. On Tuesday, all of that work paid off when he helped deliver our new Democratic majority."

Bustos was elected two years ago as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, making her the only Midwesterner in a leadership role in the House. Her election as chair of the campaign committee would allow the Midwest to retain its seat at the leadership table, bringing diversity, too, she said.

Bustos said her success as a fundraiser makes her a top pick to be chair.

"To succeed, the next DCCC Chair must demonstrate three qualities: possessing a deep understanding of what it takes to win and hold tough districts; being an effective communicator; and having a proven ability to fund raise."

For the 2018 election cycle, Bustos served as chair of the Heartland Engagement Committee of the committee. Bustos said she raised $4.5 million, and raised another $3 million for the committee, which helped finance more than 100 candidates and members of Congress.

"I exceeded all of the financial goals set for me by the DCCC," Bustos said in a release. "I spent countless hours recruiting, mentoring, fundraising and traveling to support candidates across 12 states — 15 of whom helped deliver our majority on Tuesday.

Bustos won re-election to a fourth term Tuesday night, easily defeating Republican opponent Bill Fawell, of Galena, Illinois, with nearly 62 percent of the vote.

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