ROCKFORD -- The Illinois Tea Party has endorsed longtime Congressman Don Manzullo over freshman Congressman Adam Kinzinger in a north-central Illinois primary battle.
The group cites the nine-term Republican's voting record for fiscal responsibility.
The March 20 primary election endorsement is surprising because Kinzinger won another district in 2010 with tea party backing.
Party spokeswoman Denise Cattoni says it's the first time the group is making endorsements as a statewide entity; the movement's smaller groups often operate independently.
She says it was a tough call because of Illinois' new congressional map.
The Democrat-drawn boundaries forced both Republican congressmen to face off. The new 16th District includes large parts of Manzullo's old district. The district curves around Chicago's outermost suburbs and stretches through north-central Illinois.
Kinzinger's spokeswoman says he's proud of other endorsements.