Esther Joy King concedes after ballots counted, election certified

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EAST MOLINE, Ill. (WMBD) — 17th Congressional District Republican candidate Esther Joy King officially conceded the race to her Democratic incumbent opponent Cheri Bustos.

In a press release, King made the announcement after all the votes were counted and reported following the Nov. 17 endpoint for counting additional ballots.

“The 2020 election has been like no other election, with increased mail-in ballots, tumultuous voting results, and military ballot delays,” said King.

“I committed I would wait until their votes were counted before taking action. Now, with all the votes counted, it is appropriate for me to concede. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my team and the wonderful volunteers who gave of their precious time, energy, and resources to make this effort special. It was a hard-fought race, and I am proud we focused the election on serving the people of the district instead of playing politics. I called Congresswoman Bustos, congratulated her, and asked her to keep the focus on doing what is right for the people of our district. The ultimate mission remains the same – fighting for the country we want to live in as Americans.”

Esther Joy King

King did not announce any future plans, though she has been asked to run again in 2022.

“The people who support me are amazingly loyal, firmly committed to making positive change, and I am deeply appreciative for their support,” King said. “Our country and community need a break from politics, and we have to get our economy going safely. I am still committed to public service and servant leadership, and I’m exploring options for the future and doing what it takes to keep all those options open.”

“Free and fair elections are the foundation of our country,” said Eric Anderson, Esther for Congress campaign manager. “We believe waiting for absentee vote by mail ballots and provisional ballots to be counted and reported is appropriate. We constantly tell people every vote counts, and for that to be true we have to make sure every vote is counted. The election authorities have done their job in terms of ballot security and ensuring voters were heard.”

“There are still some procedural questions in a number of jurisdictions we hope are addressed going forward,” said Brady Smith, Esther for Congress data director in response to previous statements about election returns.

“Elections rely on the public trust and anyone who lets partisan games into the process isn’t serving the voters well. Opaque policies and vague answers may just be oversight, but the goal has to be complete transparency and doing the best possible job to ensure people trust election results.”

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