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Bobby Schilling
Bobby Schilling (Quad-City Times Photo)

A 45-year-old pizzeria owner from Colona, Ill., says he intends to seek the Republican nomination in the 17th Congressional District in 2010.

Bobby Schilling, who owns St. Giuseppe's Heavenly Pizza in Moline, is critical of congressional spending and the political culture he says is aimed at the "self-preservation" of office holders.

The 17th District seat is currently held by Rep. Phil Hare, a Democrat who won a second term unopposed last year.

Schilling, who lives in Colona, said he intends to make a formal announcement in May. In the meantime, he is making the rounds of GOP meetings.

In an interview Friday, Schilling complained the 17th Congressional District, whose boundaries meander through Illinois, is a symbol of politicians seeking to protect their turf. The district boundaries, which was part of a bipartisan compromise after the 2000 Census, has been criticized for its shape.

"I'm coming in to be a servant of the people," Schilling said. "We need to get more people involved who aren't part of the good-old-boy system."

He added that he would have voted against the $787 billion stimulus plan, and he believes in term limits.

He also said congressmen who boast of bringing money back to their district ought to "explain to us how we're going to pay it back."

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