Schilling ‘feeling pretty good’ after cancer surgery & ready for primary

4 The Record

Former Illinois congressman wants to go back to Congress in Iowa​ ​

Two hotly contested primary races in Iowa will be decided in two days.

One will decide the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate to challenge Joni Ernst in November.​

The other will give us the Republican Party’s nominee for Congress to claim the seat being vacated by Democrat Dave Loebsack.

There’s no surprise for the Democrats.

Rita Hart is running unopposed and will be her party’s nominee.​

Five Republicans want to run against her in November: Tim Borchardt, Steven Everly, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Rick Phillips and Bobby Schilling.

The money really shows this is a two-person race.​

This is how much they had at the end of the first quarter: Borchardt hasn’t reported anything to start the second quarter, Everly has a few thousand dollars, Miller-Meeks has almost $400,000 and every major endorsement within the state, Rick Phillips reports very little and former Illinois Congressman Bobby Schilling has about $45,000 with a high-profile endorsement from former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.

Bobby Schilling joined 4 The Record this week for a conversation.​

He’s born and raised in Rock Island, graduated from Alleman High School, went to Black Hawk College and worked in the manufacturing and insurance industries.

Schilling’s best known for owning Saint Giuseppe’s Heavenly Pizza in Moline.

These days he’s a business consultant.​

This isn’t Schilling’s first rodeo in politics.​ He served one term in Congress when he defeated incumbent Democrat Phil Hare in 2010 to represent the Illinois district that includes the Quad Cities.

He lost his re-election bid two years later to Cheri Bustos, then again in 2014 when he tried to reclaim the seat.​

Records provided by the website Ballotpedia indicate Schilling voted with the Republican Party 91 percent of the time.

This race seems to be boiling down to the political veterans Miller-Meeks and Schilling.

They have the money, experience and name recognition.​

Health

An unexpected development came a week and a half ago when Schilling was hospitalized with cancer and had surgery.​

He got out this past Monday and felt well enough to talk with me on Thursday for his first interview since the treatment.​

He discussed how he was feeling and if there were any thoughts of leaving the race.​

Why go back?

Schilling saw the rancor and the partisanship first hand when he represented Illinois in Congress.​

He addressed why that did not turn him off to going back.​

​Carpetbagger?

​There are some critics who see this as a form of political opportunism for you by moving to Iowa.​

Schilling shared what he says to those who call him a carpetbagger.​

Establishment support

Schilling certainly had people encouraging him to run before this.

He addressed how disappointed he is by the Republican Party establishment supporting Miller-Meeks.

Money

Schilling spent a lot more money in his first two runs for Congress: A million and $2.5 million.

Schilling talked about if $50,000 is enough this time around.

​Watch the full conversation in the video above.

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