Former Rep. Schilling announces comeback bid for Illinois seat

Former Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.) will make a comeback bid for his old House seat in Illinois, he announced Monday morning.

"As a father, husband, employer and laborer, I can tell you that the middle class is falling further behind," he said in a statement announcing his rematch against Rep. Cheri BustosCheri BustosHow Rep. Eric Swalwell became the Snapchat king of Congress EMILY's List names incumbent Dems it will fundraise for Biden to headline House Dems' retreat: report MORE (D-Ill.). "The people of Illinois deserve a member of Congress who understands their worries and values, and leads by example.

"To combat unemployment, stagnant wages and rising prices, the middle class is going to need a lot more than just lip-service and rhetoric. We're going to need a leader from and for the middle class, who puts people ahead of politics and self-promotion," he added.

The one-term former congressman lost a hard-fought, expensive race to Bustos in 2012 in the northwest Illinois district. Bustos defeated him by 6 percentage points as President Obama won the district by a 17-point margin.

Schilling, a pizza chain owner known as a hard-charging campaigner, is likely Republicans' best hope of making the district competitive in 2014.

Bustos's office declined to discuss Schilling's decision.

"Congresswoman Bustos is focused like a laser on job creation, protecting Medicare and Social Security and serving the people of Illinois' 17th congressional district, not an election that is over a year away," Bustos spokesman Colin Milligan told The Hill.

Schilling's bid comes as no surprise — national Republicans have expected for months that he would take another shot at the seat.

He isn't the only Illinois Republican hoping to make a comeback this year. Former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.) has already announced a bid against Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.).

This post was updated at 10:25 a.m.

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