Kinzinger snaps back at suburban Republican group after latest party censure

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger has been castigated by another Republican Party organization within the 16th District for voting to impeach then-President Donald Trump - and he wasted no time in snapping back at his detractors.

The Will County GOP organization formally censured Kinzinger, a Channahon Republican, during its monthly meeting Thursday night.

Soon after, Kinzinger released a statement bashing the group's repeated losses to Democrats on the county board and in countywide races.

"The leaders of the Will County GOP have proven they are unable to assist Republican candidates in winning these especially important elections," Kinzinger said, adding that he is "saddened by this ineptitude."

"Maybe if the Will County GOP spent the same amount of time and energy helping local Republicans as they do with petty censure votes to go after those that vote their conscience, they might actually win a few races," Kinzinger said.

In response, Will County GOP Chairman George Pearson accused Kinzinger of not helping Republican candidates in Will County.

"Where has his leadership been in this area?" Pearson said.

Pearson also said group members are seeking "a strong candidate" to challenge Kinzinger in the 2022 Republican primary. Congressional district boundaries haven't yet been redrawn based on 2020 census data for that contest, however.

Kinzinger was one of 10 Republicans to join the House Democrats in voting to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The Senate acquitted Trump last week.

Kinzinger also has been censured by the LaSalle County and Iroquois County Republican groups in the 16th District. The Winnebago County GOP group criticized Kinzinger for his impeachment vote but stopped short of censure.

The 16th District includes parts or all of 14 Illinois counties. It stretches from the Far Northwest suburbs and the Rockford area to downstate Ford County.

Late last month, Kinzinger announced he'd launched a political action committee called Country First to take on Trump loyalists and racists and conspiracy-peddlers within the GOP.

"I look forward to continuing my part in helping Republicans get elected in Will County," he said in his latest release. "As I have long said, we need leadership - and we need it now."

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