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Cheri Bustos

Cheri Bustos, East Moline 4th ward alderman.

Cheri Bustos, a Democratic candidate for the 17th Congressional District, is stepping down as an alderwoman for the East Moline City Council to devote herself full time to campaigning.

A former Quad-City Times journalist, Bustos resigned as vice president of public relations and communications at Des Moines-based Iowa Health Systems when she announced her candidacy in July.

In her letter of resignation to Mayor John Thodos, Bustos wrote, “Our area desperately needs new leadership in Washington. Our region is hurting economically, and my focus is on being in a position to help solve these problems.

“The demands of my campaign for the United States Congress in the 17th District make my continued service on the Council untenable. I have done my best to be fully committed to the residents of the 4th Ward, whom I have represented since first being elected in 2007.”

She said the timing of her resignation is good, given upcoming budgetary decisions and the city’s search for a new city administrator.

“My successor will have the opportunity to get up to speed on both of these matters prior to making final decisions,” she wrote. “I am proud of the record of success in East Moline over the past 4 ½ years. We’ve made strides in economic development and infrastructure improvement while balancing our budget.”

Bustos is one of six candidates who have entered the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Republican Bobby Schilling.

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