New Illinois Congressional Map Could Eliminate Kinzinger’s District

A new congressional map being rolled out in Illinois is expected to eliminate Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s district, forcing him to seek other ways to remain in public office next year, including running in an unfamiliar district or mounting a long-shot run for governor or the Senate in the blue state. 

House Democrats are hoping to keep their slight lead in the 2022 midterms and are pushing states like Illinois, one of only a few states where their party has total control over redistricting, to work out maps that squeeze out Republican districts, reports Politico.

That means that in Illinois, the party will push to back the 12 incumbents who are seeking reelection, to hang onto the seat held by retiring Rep. Cheri Bustos, and to flip GOP Rep. Rodney Davis’ seat in the center of the state into a pickup for a Democrat. 

And by killing off Kinzinger’s district, the Democrats can make that happen. 

Kinzinger, who has come under fire from other Republicans for his heavy criticism of former President Donald Trump, told Politico he is not “losing sleep” over the potential that his district could be eliminated, as he can’t control that. 

“If I lose my district, we’ll take a look then,” he said, “but I’m not too freaked out.”

However, if the seat is killed off, Kinzinger will not have many options to remain in public office, and insiders say his votes against Trump and his criticisms will make his political ambitions difficult to achieve. 

“Adam, right now, he and I get along great. What he’s doing, he’s doing. But if you look at the Republican electorate in any one of those districts — probably not,” Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., commented. 

An official proposed map has not been released, and the draft copies that have emerged were created with preliminary population totals and not through the use of official Census totals. 

However, party operatives in Washington or Illinois said they can’t see a plan that will leave Kinzinger’s district intact. Further, through redistricting, the map could shift the state’s delegation from its current 13 Democrats and 5 Republicans to a split of 14-3. 

“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,” said Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., whose district represents the Loop in Chicago.

Kinzinger won his seat in 2010, defeating a Democrat incumbent, held onto it since then, and has been popular with the party until his recent anti-Trump shift. But Trump has vowed to fight lawmakers who publicly oppose him, and Kinzinger not only voted to impeach the former president but agreed to serve as one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 incidents at the Capitol. 

Even if Kinzinger’s district isn’t cut, there are already several primary challengers who have filed to run against him. 

He says he would not rule out a run for Senate or governor or “anything else,” and his allies think he could even run for president in 2024. 

Meanwhile, Kinzinger has built a war chest of more than $3 million as of July, through donors who want to reward him for opposing Trump. He also has money in a leadership PAC formed to support similar candidates, and Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., said that Democrats “might want to take a second look” if they think they can write him off by eliminating his district. 

“The Democrats, if they were smart, would leave that district alone,” said Dold. 

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