Republican Bobby Schilling launched his candidacy for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District this week with a message of “fighting for Iowa values.”
Schilling, 55, now has a home in Le Claire, but previously lived in Rock Island, Illinois, and represented that state’s 17th Congressional District there.
Now that the former congressman lives in Iowa, he is making another run at the U.S. House of Representatives, this time for an open seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack.
“I’m running on a platform of strengthening families, empowering small businesses, and defending this great nation against those who would seek to tear her down,” said Schilling in a press release, decrying the “Venezuela-style socialism” he said Democrats were “openly embracing.”
“I’m running to provide a common sense voice for Iowa families,” he said.
Loebsack, serving the southeast/eastern Iowa district since 2007, announced in April he would not seek reelection in 2020.
Hart’s campaign announced Monday morning she raised more than $278,000 in the first six weeks of her bid for Congress.
She has the endorsement of more than 70 local leaders across the 24-county district, is supported by Loebsack and was called a “perfect fit” for the district by Rep. Cheri Bustos, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Bustos, who now represents the district formerly held by Schilling, defeated him in 2012 when he was the incumbent and again in 2014 when he tried to retake his old seat.
In his bid for the 2nd District, which has long been represented by a Democrat but voted for Republican President Donald Trump in 2016, Schilling said he wanted “to return the People’s Seat to the people.”
According to the press release, Schilling will soon begin a 24-county “engagement tour” across the district to talk with Iowans “about critical issues that matter most to them.”
For now, he is the lone Republican in the race, though State Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa has not ruled out a run. Thomas Kedley, the Republican mayor of Osceola, dropped his campaign last month.
On his campaign website, Schilling describes himself as a “Christian, a husband, a father of ten kids, a small business owner, and a committed public servant.”
According to the Quad-City Times, Schilling has focused on spending time with his family and expanding their family-owned business in East Moline, Saint Giuseppe’s Pizza, since leaving public office.
His homepage states he is “running for Congress to stop radical leftists from destroying this great nation.”
by Elizabeth Meyer
Graphic by Rob Bingham