[guest post by Dana]
Kinzinger made the announcement on Twitter today:
I’m proud to have served #Illinois for six terms and look forward to what's next. I'll continue to fight for truth and transparency, for principled leadership and proven solutions, for hope and opportunity.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) October 29, 2021
A few quotes from his announcement:
As a country, we must unplug from the mistruths we’ve been fed. In Congress, I’ve witnessed how division is heavily rooted. There’s little to no desire to bridge our differences. And unity is no longer a word we use. It has also become increasingly obvious to me that in order to break the narrative. I cannot focus on both a reelection to Congress and a broader fight nationwide.
This isn’t the end of my political future, but the beginning. Serving six terms in Congress, has been an honor of a lifetime.
Clearly, Trump will be checking this off on his payback to-do list:
Trump referenced the political consequences of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him in a statement reacting to Kinzinger’s announcement, writing “2 down 8 to go!” GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, who also voted to impeach Trump, announced last month his plans to leave Congress.
Kinzinger had demonstrated loyalty to the Constitution and voted to impeach the former president, as well as voting for the contempt resolution against Steve Bannon. When he made the decision to sit on the Jan. 6 commission and explained why he was compelled to do so:
“For months, we have searched for answers and what process we should use to get them. For months, lies and conspiracy theories have been spread, threatening our self-governance. For months, I have said that the American people deserve transparency and truth on how and why thousands showed up to attack our democracy, and ultimately, what led to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Complex on January 6, 2021.
“Self-governance requires accountability and responsibility. My faith requires the same of me, truth is necessary for order, and that’s what I will do. Let me be clear, I’m a Republican dedicated to conservative values, but I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution—and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will always answer.
“This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach. We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again.
Due to recent redistricting, Kinzinger would have faced an uphill re-election battle:
The reshaping of congressional districts was likely a factor in the decision. Because of Illinois redistricting after the 2020 census, GOP Rep. Darin LaHood and Kinzinger’s district would be in the same district, according to an updated map released hours earlier Friday. If that were the case, LaHood and Kinzinger would have had to run in the same June 2022 Republican primary. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign it into law.
If the LaHood name sounds familiar, it should:
LaHood, a native of Peoria, Illinois, is the son of Ray LaHood, the 16th United States Secretary of Transportation and before then seven-term U.S. Representative for the district his son currently represents.
LaHood, a Trump supporter, obviously did not vote to impeach Trump. Amusingly, he claimed that to impeach the president would have been divisive:
“I oppose impeachment. Pushing articles of impeachment days before the inauguration will only inflame and further divide our country.”
These days, MAGA owns the GOP, and Republicans who are vocal in their opposition to Trump and his influence and want to see the GOP completely cut ties with the former president find themselves in increasingly hostile territory. So the question now is: who’s next?