PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — 17th Congressional District Republican candidate Esther Joy King unofficially announced she will be running for Congress in 2022.

Joy King made the announcement Friday afternoon while responding to Democratic Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’s (IL-17) announcement that she will not seek another term after completing her fifth term.

“While we were planning to make this official in a couple weeks – I’m announcing today that yes, I am running for Congress in 2022 because I know that the residents of this district deserve so much better than what the liberal elites have been serving them up in Washington,” Joy King said.

Joy King previously conceded the race for the 17th congressional district to Bustos in November 2020.

“I want to thank Cheri Bustos for her service and I wish her the best going forward,” Joy King said. “Cheri has always claimed she knew this district well – so she clearly saw what we’re seeing every day: IL-17 was going to make a change in 2022 and Cheri was destined to lose. The people of the IL-17th accomplished this! I’m proud to be part of a movement to bring better representation to the best people I know.”

“We need a battle-ready leader. We need a fighter who won’t back down. Someone who knows that the residents of the 17th district matter more than Washington DC special interests. I can’t wait to share that message with everyone in IL-17 and look forward to the battle ahead.”