PREVIEW: 16th Congressional District Race

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STATELINE (WIFR) – In less than 24 hours, voters will head to the polls for the primary election. In the 16th Congressional District, incumbent Adam Kinzinger faces Tea Party challenger David Hale. 23 News Reporter Lauren Kravets spoke with both candidates who tell us why they deserve the seat.

It's a name known here in the Stateline and nationally, Congressman Adam Kinzinger. He won the 16th District seat in 2012 and currently serves in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and is a Major in the Air National Guard. David Hale is also a familiar name and has led the Rockford Tea Party for the last five years. Hale says it's time to stop being a critic and accomplish something in Washington.

"I don't believe the values of the majority of the people of this district are being represented," says Hale.

Values like fiscal responsibility. The federal debt is at $17 trillion.

"You've got to grow the economy, we can cut and cut and cut and we've done that and we need to continue to do that and find areas of savings, but the economy has to grow," says Rep. Kinzinger.

The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act could help with growth and jobs. Kinzinger says it would create a board to help figure out what government needs to do to enhance manufacturing. Hale says if he's elected, he won't make any immediate investments, he says that can't happen until we get the debt under control. He references a recent government study that found $100 billion a year in waste, including Medicare and welfare fraud.

"Until we efficiently spend money on welfare, on the military, on federal roads programs, I don't think there's much ability to talk about an investment," says Hale.

However, sometimes it's investments that can spur the economy.

"There's a Veterans Emergency Medical Technician Act which would help people coming from overseas who had a medical background, come over, and get a job as an EMT very easily instead of having to start from square one," said Kinzinger.

So why should you vote for Kinzinger or Hale?

"I'm not going to go to Congress and say one thing and do another thing. For five years I've stood behind the same principles and values. Everybody knows them, limited government, limited taxes and economic freedom," says Hale.

"I've been honored to do this job, we've got a lot of work left to do, and every vote I take, isn't what's good for me politically, I think that's obvious by some of the votes I've taken, but it's about what I think is right for the 16th District and the future of this country," says Kinzinger.

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