Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has always been among the most outspoken of the handful of congressional Republicans publicly opposed to former President Donald Trump, even going so far as to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment, and joining Democrats on the heavily biased anti-Trump select committee probing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Now, however, Kinzinger will have to find another venue from which to espouse his opposition to Trump and those who support him, as the congressman announced Friday that he will not be seeking re-election for another term, the Associated Press reported.
Not seeking re-election
The announcement of Kinzinger’s impending retirement from Congress came via a nearly five-minute video posted to social media that laid out his reasoning for leaving the body of elected representatives.
Looking forward to the next chapter! pic.twitter.com/SvdFCVtrlE
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) October 29, 2021
Kinzinger claimed to be disgusted with party leadership and the highly partisan rancor that comprises most political discourse these days, virtuously casting himself as being above the fray that he has nonetheless been right in the thick of on many occasions.
He also clearly insinuated that though he would be stepping away from Congress, he wasn’t leaving politics altogether, and said, “I cannot focus on both a re-election to Congress and a broader fight nationwide. I want to make it clear — this isn’t the end of my political future, but the beginning.”
Conveniently enough, his video ended by highlighting a new political organization he has formed known as “Country First.”
To be sure, there is no love lost between Kinzinger and Trump or the former president’s most ardent supporters, and the incessant slings and arrows that the congressman has sent over the years toward Trump and his supporters have been returned in equal or greater measure.
In fact, the former president, in a tweet-like statement released through his Save America PAC, celebrated Kinzinger’s announced retirement from Congress with one simple sentence: “2 down, 8 to go!”
That was in reference to the 10 House Republicans who had voted to impeach him in January while he was already headed out the door of the White House. Kinzinger now joins Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) as a member of that particular group who has decided to leave Congress.
The real reason
Interestingly, the AP noted that despite Kinzinger’s virtuous rhetoric, there may be a much less self-righteous reason for his decision, namely the Democrat-controlled redistricting in Illinois that may well have just squeezed the congressman out of his own district.
A newly-drawn map appears to have combined Kinzinger’s district with that of Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), a strong supporter of Trump, in a new deeply red district full of voters that, most likely, favor Trump and those who support him over those who actively criticized and opposed him, setting up a primary battle that the anti-Trump congressman would have trouble winning.