Another candidate emerges for 16th Congressional District seat

  • Leona Di Amore, a Channahon resident who owns a business in Naperville, says she intends to run as a Republican in 2022 for Illinois' 16th Congressional District seat.

    Leona Di Amore, a Channahon resident who owns a business in Naperville, says she intends to run as a Republican in 2022 for Illinois' 16th Congressional District seat. Daily Herald file, 2015

  • Republican Leona Di Amore plans to run for Illinois' 16th Congressional District seat in 2022. The seat is held by fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

    Republican Leona Di Amore plans to run for Illinois' 16th Congressional District seat in 2022. The seat is held by fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger. Daily Herald File Photo, 2015

 
 
Updated 3/18/2021 4:50 PM

A chiropractor with an office in Naperville has joined the pack of political hopefuls trying to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

Channahon resident Leona Di Amore on Thursday confirmed she intends to run for the Republican nomination for Illinois' 16th District seat.

 

Di Amore has launched a campaign website, lovewins2022.com. She hasn't yet filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, but plans to do so by next week.

Di Amore enters a field that includes Kinzinger and fellow Republicans Catalina Lauf of Woodstock, Gene Koprowski of Champaign and Jack Lombardi of Manhattan, as well as Democrat Marsha V. Williams of Wilmington, according to candidacy statements viewable at fec.gov. Oswego resident James Marter has said he's running, too, but he hasn't filed with the FEC.

Both Marter and Lauf unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the 14th House District seat in 2020. Jim Oberweis won the GOP primary and lost to Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood.

A first-time candidate, Di Amore said she's running because she doesn't like the political divide in the nation or within the Republican Party. She criticized Kinzinger for creating what she called a splinter group within the GOP with his Country First political committee.

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"I don't think that helps anybody move forward," Di Amore said.

Kinzinger launched that group following the Jan. 6 incursion at the U.S. Capitol, which he blamed on former President Donald Trump.

Kinzinger, also of Channahon, has been censured by several Republican groups in the district and bashed by Republicans across the nation for voting to impeach Trump after the Capitol siege.

Di Amore served in the U.S. Navy and now operates a holistic health center in Naperville called Leona's Healing Place. She has a doctor of chiropractic degree, her website indicates.

In a video on the site, Di Amore calls for the U.S. to end foreign aid and "put America first." She also said she supports the 2nd Amendment's guarantee of gun ownership, but favors mandatory background checks for would-be gun buyers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

In a break from the traditional GOP platform, Di Amore said she supports a legal path to citizenship for immigrants who came here illegally but haven't committed crimes. People who have established lives here shouldn't have to fear immigration authorities knocking on their doors, she said.

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.

The next congressional election is in 2022. Congressional districts likely will look much different from they do now because they'll be redrawn based on population data in the 2020 census. Illinois could lose at least one congressional district because of its population drop since 2010.

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