LE CLAIRE, Iowa – Bobby Schilling, Republican candidate in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, announced Wednesday evening that he was diagnosed with cancer.

“My family and I received some tough news this week. I went in for a checkup with my doctor. They noticed some irregularities and performed some tests. Today we got the results we were told to expect: cancer,” Schilling said in a released statement.

He said that the cancer is operable, and that surgery is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

“Please keep me and my family in your prayers during that time,” he asked.

“As my family and supporters know, I’m a fighter. I’ve been through many challenges in my life, and to be frank, this will be my biggest challenge yet. But I know, with my wife, 10 children, and 13 grandkids behind me, I will be able to overcome this setback. I couldn’t be more prepared,” Schilling said.

“I want to assure the voters of the Iowa 2nd District: I’m not quitting. I am confident that we will beat this thing and be back at the campaign in very short order!” he added.

Schilling was scheduled to debate State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Ottumwa, on WHO-TV on Wednesday, May 27. His surgery and subsequent recovery time make it unlikely that he will be able to participate though the Schilling campaign did not make a formal announcement about that.

The primary will be held on June 2.

Schilling, 55, represented Illinois’ 17th Congressional District from 2011 to 2013. In 2016, He built a house and moved to Le Claire. Schilling owns Saint Giuseppe’s Heavenly Pizza with three locations in Illinois and a fourth location opening in Comanche, Iowa soon. He also runs economic development consulting business helping to bring foreign investment into the United States with one of his primary clients being the NFL Hall of Fame. Schilling and his wife Christie have 10 children and 13 grandchildren. They attend Our Lady of the River Catholic Church in Le Claire.

Update: Miller-Meeks responds to Schilling’s diagnosis.

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