GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, outspoken Trump critic, announces he won't seek reelection

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010.

October 29, 2021, 12:05 PM

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans serving on the House Jan. 6 select committee, and one of the most vocal critics of the GOP's embrace of former President Donald Trump and the "big lie," announced on Friday he is not running for reelection to Congress next term.

Kinzinger made the announcement in a nearly five-minute video to supporters posted to social media that referenced his first campaign.

"I also remember during that campaign saying that if I ever thought it was time to move on from Congress I would, and that time is now, but let me be clear, 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," he said.

"I cannot focus on both a re-election to Congress and a broader fight nationwide," he continued.

PHOTO: Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger speaks before the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger speaks before the House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kinzinger of Illinois, a critic of Donald Trump who is one of two Republicans on the panel investigating the deadly Capitol attack, announced Oct. 29 that he will not seek re-election.
Chip Somodevilla/AP, FILE

Kinzinger has been one of a handful of vocal, anti-Trump Republicans and his announcement is a shock to the current political environment -- but it's part of a larger pattern of House Republican resignations.

He is the second of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January 2021 for "incitement of insurrection" to announce they’re not running for reelection. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, made a similar announcement in September.

Trump took credit for the news in a five-word paper statement.

"2 down, 8 to go!" it said.

Although Kinzinger's home state of Illinois is still going through the redistricting process, the early map drafts indicated an uphill -- if not completely impossible -- battle for Kinzinger to run in his district in 2022.

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Oct. 09, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Oct. 09, 2021, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Scott Olson/Getty Images, FILE

Under the latest redistricting proposal, Kinzinger’s current GOP-leaning district outside of the Chicago suburbs (CD-16) would be completely reworked from its current form. The new CD-16 would be moved to cover western and central parts of the state, rather than the suburbs and northern part of the state that he currently represents.

Kinzinger's announcement comes as he continues to take heat from members of his own party for his work on the select committee to investigate the attack on the Capitol, though the congressman said he expected political pushback on the heels of the impeachment proceedings.

"I think I'll definitely face a primary and the wrath of some of Donald Trump's hardcore base that will continue to exist, but I still believe that once he's out of office once we can evaluate this whole presidency outside of him having the megaphone," Kinzinger told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein on "Powerhouse Politics" podcast in January.

Kinzinger told Karl on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in August that he supported issuing subpoenas to anyone -- including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy -- who has information about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and what action Trump took. As that committee continues its investigation, with the only other Republican serving on it being Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., a full House vote last week found Trump ally Steve Bannon in contempt for failing to comply with such a subpoena.

Despite the backlash from House GOP leadership, Kinzinger didn't rule out running for another political office in Friday's announcement.

"I want to make it clear," Kinzinger said. "This isn't the end of my political future, but the beginning."

His current House term is set to end on Jan. 3, 2023.

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