Dem lawmaker Cheri Bustos surprises Pelosi with devastating retirement announcement

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was already facing a near-impossible task of holding on to majority control in the 2022 midterm elections.

According to Breitbart, the challenge of emerging with a majority victory in 2022 just became more difficult after Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) announced this week that she will not seek reelection next year, leaving Pelosi not only without one of her reported “top lieutenants” in the House but also leaving open a vacancy in a Trump-centric Illinois district. 

The bombshell announcement came on Friday, as Bustos, who was also former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairwoman, said “following a decade of service” that she will not be seeking reelection, leaving Democrats presumably scrambling to come up with a hail mary candidate to secure the vacancy.

For months, a growing list of retiring lawmakers, especially Democrats, are said to be throwing in the towel due to what experts from both sides of the political aisle generally agree will be a loss of majority control in the 2022 midterms, which typically happens when a new president is installed.

But with lawmakers like Bustos, who are seen as power players in the party, retire in ticket-splitting districts, it only serves to further the essential inevitability that the GOP will fairly easily cruise to a majority victory next year. Former President Donald Trump won Bustos’ Illinois district in both the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Adding to the challenge for Democrats are the legislative actions that Pelosi has taken and embraced, especially since President Joe Biden entered the White House. Many moderate or center-leaning Democrats have argued that Pelosi’s embrace of the progressive side of the party has created unnecessary obstacles in winning reelection.

Prior to her surprise retirement announcement, Bustos was originally on an “exit list” created by members of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) — a list that identified Democrats who were prime candidates to be targeted heavily in the 2022 midterms as seats that could be flipped from blue to red.

Only time will tell how Democrats actually fair in next year’s midterm elections, but so far, all signals are pointing to nothing short of an absolute political bloodbath of losses.