Corinne Wolyniec

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Illinois’ U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos announces she’s not running for re-election in 2022

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) announced on April 30 that she would not run for re-election in 2022. 

Bustos was first elected to the U.S. House to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District in 2012. She most recently won re-election in 2020, defeating Esther Joy King (R), 52% to 48%.

As of April 30, eight members of the U.S. House—three Democrats and five Republicans—have announced they will not seek re-election in 2022. Five members of the U.S. Senate—all Republicans—have announced they will not run for re-election.

Thirty-six members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election in 2020—26 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Libertarian. In 2018, 52 members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election, including 34 Republicans and 18 Democrats.

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Rep. Steve Stivers will resign from the House of Representatives on May 16

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) announced on April 19 that he would resign from the House of Representatives to become President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Stivers represents Ohio’s 15th Congressional District and said his resignation would be effective as of May 16.

In a tweet announcing his resignation, Stivers said, “For the past decade, it has been my honor and privilege to serve the people of Ohio’s 15th Congressional District. Throughout my career, I’ve worked to promote policies that drive our economy forward, get folks to work, and put our fiscal house in order. I’m excited to announce that I will be taking on a new opportunity that allows me to continue to do that.”

Stivers has served in the U.S House since 2011. He most recently won re-election in 2020, defeating Democrat Joel Newby, 63% to 37%, and is a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Before he was elected to the U.S. House, Stivers served in the Ohio State Senate from 2003 to 2009.

U.S. House vacancies are filled by special election. Five special elections have been called during the 117th Congress as of April 19, including a special to fill the seat representing Ohio’s 11th District, most recently held by Marcia Fudge (D). That seat became vacant after Fudge was confirmed as the secretary of housing and urban development in President Biden’s (D) administration on Mar. 10. The primary elections to fill Fudge’s congressional seat are scheduled for August 3, 2021, and the general election will be held on November 2, 2021. 

Gov. DeWine (R) will set the date of the special election to fill Stivers’ seat. The winner of the special election will serve out the remainder of Stivers’ term, which expires on Jan. 3, 2023. 

After Stivers’ resignation takes effect, the partisan breakdown of the U.S. House will be 218 Democrats and 211 Republicans, with six vacancies. Ohio’s 15th District was rated Safe Republican during the 2020 general election. 

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Suellentrop removed as Kansas State Senate majority leader

Members of the Republican caucus in the Kansas State Senate voted to remove Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop (R) from his position on April 9. The caucus vote was 22-4 following the release of additional details about Suellentrop’s March 16 arrest. Assistant Majority Leader Larry Alley will act as Senate Majority Leader until the Republican caucus selects a new leader in May. 

Suellentrop had previously stepped down from his leadership position on March 17 after the Kansas Highway Patrol arrested him for allegedly driving under the influence and attempting to flee from a law enforcement officer. An affidavit submitted by the arresting officer was released on April 8  that stated Suellentrop’s blood-alcohol level was 0.17, over twice the legal limit. The affidavit also says that Suellentrop taunted the Highway Patrol officer. 

Suellentrop was elected State Senate majority leader in December 2020 and had been set to serve in that role through 2024. The majority leader is the second-highest leadership position in the Kansas State Senate, after the Senate president. As the floor leader of the majority caucus, the majority leader serves as the principal speaker during debates on the Senate floor and works to promote the party’s legislative agenda. 

Suellentrop was first elected to the state Senate in 2016, defeating Tony Hunter, 66.5% to 33.5%. Before his election to the Senate, he served in the Kansas House of Representatives from 2009 to 2017. 

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