Since the January 6 riot, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois has typically sided with Democrats, both in voting to impeach then-President Donald Trump in the wake of the assault and in blaming him for it.
But now it appears that Democrats who control his state are about to repay him by re-zoning the district he represents in Congress out of existence.
Kinzinger was already under fire from and being targeted by Trump-supporting candidates in their bid to unseat him during the 2022 GOP midterm primaries next spring, and Trump himself was expected to support a Kinzinger opponent financially and otherwise. But it now appears that won’t be necessary.
That means in order to remain in office, Kinzinger will have to find another district or try to run for governor or the U.S. Senate in what is seen as a solidly blue state.
According to Politico, House Democrats are working with counterparts in the few states their party controls completely ahead of the midterms next year to eliminate as many Republican-held seats as possible as they work on new district maps.
“Democrats in the state insist that Kinzinger’s likely fate is driven solely by geographical considerations,” Politico reported. “Thanks to declining population, Illinois is losing one of its 18 congressional districts, and Democrats in charge of the process need some of Kinzinger’s blue-leaning voters to shore up Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) and an open seat in the northwest corner held by retiring Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.).”
State Democrats can make that happen by eliminating Kinzinger’s seat altogether, which appears to be likely.
For his part, Kinzinger says he’s very aware that his district is liable to be chopped, adding in an interview with Politico he’s not “overthinking” the situation or “losing sleep” over something he can’t control.
“If I lose my district, we’ll take a look then,” he told the outlet. “But I’m not too freaked out.”
Thus far, there is no official map of redistricting from Illinois officials, Politico added, however, some draft maps have been produced based on population figures before the state’s official count was released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
“But in interviews, few party operatives in D.C. or Illinois could envision a final plan that leaves much of Kinzinger’s seat intact. The Democrats’ ideal map would shift the delegation from its current roster of 13 Democrats and five Republicans to a 14-3 split,” Politico noted.
Congressional Democrats are predicting that because of demographic changes and population shifts Republicans in the state are going to get the short shrift.
“Given the configuration and where the population trended, and the way it’s trending, if I had to take a bet, I bet that we lose a Republican district,” Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), who represents the Loop in Chicago, told Politico.
As for Kinzinger, he has fought for his seat before. He won it from a Democrat in 2010 and had to defend it against “against a more senior Republican, Don Manzullo, in a brutal primary resulting from the last Democratic-controlled round of redistricting,” Politico said, adding that Kinzinger won by more than 8 points.
Pro-Trump Republican Catalina Lauf announced in February that she was mounting a primary challenge against Kinzinger after he decided to vote with Democrats to impeach Trump.
Fake Republican Adam Kinzinger won’t put AMERICA FIRST— I will.
That’s why I’m challenging him for his seat in Congress
I am the daughter of LEGAL immigrants, a small business owner, & PROUDLY served in the Trump administration.
— Catalina Lauf (@CatalinaLauf) February 23, 2021
“I never thought I’d primary a fellow Republican, but is Congressman Kinzinger really a Republican anymore? He isn’t and we have the proof,” she said in a video ad posted after she declared her candidacy.
It’s not clear if she will continue her campaign.
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