Remap puts anti-Trump GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger in Democrat-leaning district

  • U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger

    U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger Jim Bourg/Pool via AP File

 
 
Updated 10/15/2021 9:01 PM

With his home district dramatically reshaped in the proposed congressional map Democratic state lawmakers have drawn for Illinois, veteran Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger's political future is far from certain.

Kinzinger -- a six-term lawmaker from Channahon who has infuriated backers of former President Donald Trump -- previously has said he intends to seek reelection to the House. But the 16th District representative didn't sound confident about it in a prepared statement Friday.

 

"Following the release of the new congressional maps for Illinois, my team and I will spend some time looking them over and reviewing all of the options, including those outside the House," said Kinzinger, who has not ruled out running for statewide office.

The current 16th District stretches from the far Northwest suburbs and the Rockford area to downstate Ford County.

If the map unveiled Friday is adopted, Kinzinger would find his hometown in a new 3rd District that also would include LaGrange, the hometown of the current 3rd District representative, first-term Democrat Marie Newman.

The proposed boundary lines would include much of the Southwest and Far Southwest suburbs, giving Newman or any other Democratic candidate an advantage in a general election, said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield.

And because many of the constituents who Kinzinger assisted or built relationships with don't live in the proposed 3rd District, he'd have to work extra hard to motivate swing voters in the new district to support him, Redfield said.

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Of course, winning a Republican primary is no sure thing for Kinzinger in 2022, despite his incumbency, a conservative voting record and a multimillion-dollar campaign war chest.

That's because many die-hard Republicans are furious with him for voting to impeach Trump after the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters. Kinzinger also angered the GOP base by criticizing Trump and others for wrongly claiming President Joe Biden stole the 2020 presidential election.

"It's hard for (Kinzinger) to match the intensity ... of the people who are upset about Democrats stealing the election from Trump," Redfield said.

So, for all those reasons, Kinzinger will have to overcome "significant hurdles" if he runs in the 3rd, Redfield said.

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