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Kinzinger retires, leaving LaHood uncontested in new 16th District's GOP primary

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, seen here during a July 2021 hearing, is a member of the air national guard.
Chip Somodevilla
Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, seen here during a July 2021 hearing, is a member of the Air National Guard.

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a noted critic of former President Donald Trump, is calling it quits rather than vying against U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood in a Republican primary next year.

The Democrats who control the Illinois General Assembly drew both Kinzinger and LaHood into the new 16th Congressional District, which stretches from the Wisconsin border and snakes south around the Democratic-leaning urban areas of Peoria, Rockford, Bloomington, and the Quad Cities.

LaHood's 18th Congressional District was eliminated after the 2020 Census due to the state's population loss.

Kinzinger was one of just 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in the wake of the January insurrection on Capitol Hill.

It remains unclear what Kinzinger's next step is. In a Twitter video, the six-term congressman said he can't focus on both a reelection campaign and a broader fight nationwide addressing political division, lies, and "outrage blinding our ability to achieve real strength."

But he isn't ruling out a run for something else.

"I want to make it clear: this isn't the end of my political future, but a beginning," he said.

Some political pundits have speculated Kinzinger may consider a statewide run if the remap was unfavorable. Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth and Gov. JB Pritzker are both up for reelection next year.

Copyright 2021 WCBU

Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.
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