Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger weighing next step in political career

“An easier race would be the governor’s race. Illinois has elected a lot of republicans and moderate republicans to boot as governor.”
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 9:39 AM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois says he’s actively considering what the next step in his political career will be.

It comes after he announced he’s not seeking re-election in 2022.

But will his next move be a 2024 presidential bid, a run for Senate, or for Illinois’ Governor’s mansion?

In a video posted to his official Twitter account, Kinzinger says while he’s not seeking re-election his political career isn’t over.

“If I ever thought it was time to move on from Congress, I would,” he said. “And that time is now.”

Kinzinger added, “my desire to make a difference is bigger than it’s ever been.”

Dr. Todd Belt is the director and professor of Political Management at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

“This is all just speculation right now, but Tammy Duckworth’s seat is up in 2022,” said Dr. Belt.

Belt said with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)’s level of support, challenging her might not be Kinzinger’s best bet, but running for Illinois’ next governor he says could be a better option.

“An easier race would be the governor’s race,” said Belt. “Illinois has elected a lot of Republicans and moderate Republicans to boot as governor.”

According to the National Governors Association, out of Illinois’ last six governors, four were Republicans, two were Democrats. The current governor, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is a Democrat.

Belt believes the catalyst behind Kinzinger’s announcement is the new proposed redistricting map from Democrats in the Illinois state legislature. He said it sets Kinzinger up for a tough battle against another incumbent Republican.

“His district got redistricted into another one where Rep. LaHood is also going to be running,” said Belt.

Kinzinger is expected to make a decision on his future by January. He is now the second Republican congressman who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for the Jan. 6 breach at the Capitol, to announce they’re not seeking re-election.

Gray DC did reach out to Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s office for this report. We were told he was unavailable for an interview.

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