For Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, It’s Pizza, Kids, Business, and Another Run for Congress

In this Nov. 4, 2010 photo, Rep.-elect Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., left, talks with Moline, Ill., police officers in Schilling's Saint Giuseppe's heavenly pizza restaurant, in Moline. Schilling, a father of 10 kids, is a tea partier who knocked off an established Democrat in a district that has gone Democrat, even liberal Democrat, for years. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
National Journal
Cameron Smith
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Cameron Smith
Aug. 22, 2013, 1:45 p.m.

Former Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., has been work­ing about four jobs since los­ing a bid for a second term in Con­gress last fall.

“The first thing I had to do was tackle a wish list of house­work from my wife,” he jokes.

Then there are his re­spons­ib­il­it­ies to the fam­ily of 10 that he and his wife, Christie, have been rais­ing for 27 years. Many of them work at the fam­ily busi­ness, Saint Gi­useppe’s Heav­enly Pizza in Moline, Ill. “If they’re old enough to work, they’re in there,” Schilling says with a laugh.

Schilling, 49, also has some du­ties at the res­taur­ant. “I had to com­pletely re­build the pizza oven my­self. It’s amaz­ing what the In­ter­net can teach you to do.”

But for the most part, Schilling says, he leaves his grown chil­dren in charge of day-to-day op­er­a­tions at the pizza place so he can fo­cus on his real job as dir­ect­or of busi­ness re­la­tions and gov­ern­ment­al af­fairs at CMB Re­gion­al Cen­ters, a com­pany that helps for­eign na­tion­als in­vest in the United States and even­tu­ally be­come cit­izens. In­vestors as­sisted by CMB are re­quired to cre­ate at least 10 jobs in the U.S., Schilling said.

Schilling got the job after the own­er of CMB urged him to come for an in­ter­view “be­fore you go back in­to the pizza busi­ness.”

“I’m the guy who puts pro­jects to­geth­er,” says Schilling, who cur­rently has six pro­jects go­ing, in­clud­ing an ef­fort to re­store the his­tor­ic Texaco build­ing in Hou­s­ton.

And now Schilling is giv­ing some at­ten­tion to an­oth­er job: win­ning back his seat rep­res­ent­ing the 17th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict of Illinois. He an­nounced last month he will seek a re­match next year with Rep. Cheri Bus­tos, D-Ill., who ous­ted him in an ex­pens­ive race last year.

“One thing we’re go­ing to fo­cus on is the middle class and the crush­ing prices and stag­nant wages they’re fa­cing,” Schilling says. “What mo­tiv­ates me is look­ing at my 3-year-old son and think­ing about what we’re passing on to him and his fu­ture wife and their fu­ture kids.”

Na­tion­al Journ­al Daily’s Where Are They Now series catches up with law­makers who left of­fice in Janu­ary to find out what they are do­ing. It will run throughout Au­gust.

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