DAVENPORT — Former U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, a Republican who once represented the Illinois congressional district just across the Mississippi River, has announced he will seek the open seat in the U.S. House held by retiring U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack of Iowa.
Schilling, who lives in LeClaire, relocated to Iowa from Illinois in 2017 in part to escape what he described as heavy taxes and a poor business environment. He has been mulling a run for 2nd Congressional District seat for months.
Schilling, 55, made his intentions official in a news release Monday, saying he will run on a platform of “strengthening families, empowering small businesses, and defending this great nation against those who would seek to tear her down.”
Loebsack still has about 18 months before he leaves Congress, but the race to represent his district following the 2020 election already has begun to attract high interest on both sides of the aisle.
Loebsack, a Democrat who began working in Washington in 2007, already has endorsed Rita Hart, a Democrat from Wheatland, to take his spot when he retires.
Hart is a former state senator whose political profile grew substantially last year during her unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor.
Another Democrat has announced his intention to run in the 2nd District: Newman Abuissa, a transportation engineer from Iowa City.
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Meanwhile, other Republicans still may enter the race and set a primary election into motion, but Schilling already has begun to play offense against Hart.
After a recent endorsement of Hart by EMILY’s List, a political group that advocates for abortion rights, Schilling’s campaign issued a statement calling the support of that group “very concerning.”
“Abortion extremism doesn’t fly with the good people of Iowa,” Schilling, a longtime abortion opponent, said in the statement.
Schilling represented the 17th Congressional District in Illinois from 2011 to 2013.