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Moderate Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois elected to lead House Democrats' reelection effort

Moderate Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois elected to lead House Democrats' reelection effort
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), center, was elected to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday. (Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), a moderate from the Midwest, will lead the Democrats’ campaign arm in the 2020 election and will be one of the few women in House leadership.

Bustos was elected to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday, besting two other candidates. A third candidate dropped out earlier this week for health reasons.

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Bustos, who won reelection in a district that President Trump narrowly won in 2016, centered her campaign around helping the large freshmen class get reelected and being a voice for Midwestern and moderate Democrats at the leadership table.

“I know how to do well in really, really tough districts,” she told the Los Angeles Times in an interview while campaigning in southern Illinois last month. “We’re going to have more than 30 Democrats in the House coming from Trump districts, so we just have to figure out how to button these up and hang on to them and grow our margin in 2020.”

Bustos garnered 117 votes, while Rep. Denny Heck of Washington state got 83 and Rep. Suzan DelBene, also of Washington state, got 32.

House Democrats have been holding leadership elections since Wednesday. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) was nominated to be Democrats’ contender for House speaker, a position that will be determined on the House floor in January. In addition to Bustos, Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts was elected vice chair of the Democratic caucus.

10:45 a.m.: This article was updated with the vote count.

This article was originally published at 9:05 a.m.

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