WASHINGTON — Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican lawmaker who’s been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump, announced Friday that he will not seek re-election next year.
The 43-year-old Illinois representative announced his decision to retire from Congress in a five-minute-long video posted on social media.
“But let me be clear,” he said. “My passion for this country has only grown. My desire to make a difference is bigger than it’s ever been. My disappointment in the leaders that don’t lead is huge. The battlefield must be broader and the truth needs to reach the American people across the whole country.”
The Illinois Republican was one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump in the wake of the riot and the second from that group to announce his retirement from Congress after Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio.
Kinzinger, a veteran of the Iraq war and war in Afghanistan, has served in Congress since 2011. He often dissociates himself from the rest of his party on matters relating to Trump.
Kinzinger has condemned the former president and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, which he has blamed on Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen from him. Kinzinger has been working on the select committee to investigate the riot with Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the only two Republican members appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to the panel.
When the House Republican Conference ousted Cheney as their chairwoman, Kinzinger defended her. He has also criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for supporting Trump.
While Kinzinger was a vocal opponent of Trump and his governing style, the GOP congressman voted along party lines and on most issues that the former president supported, according to analyses by FiveThirtyEight.
Kinzinger’s district is set to be slashed in the redistricting process currently underway in Illinois. The state is losing a seat, and Democrats are looking to exploit the opportunity to redraw it to their advantage. Kinzinger would have likely faced fellow Republican Darin LaHood in the newly-redrawn 16th district.
The congressman said in his video that he’s not necessarily leaving the political arena, saying, “This isn’t the end of my political future — but the beginning.” He didn’t say whether he plans to run for election for a different office.
Author: Rebecca Shabad