Reasons why two Illinois House members aren’t seeking re-election

Adam Kinzinger announced he wasn’t seeking re-election last October. Cheri Bustos made her announcement in April of last year.
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 2:26 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Congressman Adam Kinzinger, a rare critic of former President Donald Trump in the Republican party, announced he wasn’t seeking re-election last October.

On Twitter, Kinzinger said, “If I ever thought there was a time to move on from Congress, I would. That time is now.”

Kinzinger’s announcement was just three months after he agreed to serve on the House panel investigating the January 6th Capitol attack, and Donald Trump’s unfounded claims he lost the election because it was rigged.

Dr. Michael Cornfield of George Washington University says Republicans who speak out against Trump are paying the consequences.

“Because they’re afraid not just of Trump, but of the people who are big fans of Trump won’t vote or will vote the other way,” said Cornfield.

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos announced last April she wasn’t seeking re-election.

It was shortly after the Census Bureau said Illinois was downsizing from 18 to 17 seats in Congress.

Professor Brian Gaines of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign says when state Democrats redrew the congressional map, they were more focused on “trying to get Republicans doubled up in districts” that Democratic incumbents like Bustos were put at risk.

“I don’t think they were targeting her as such, but I do think they weren’t trying to protect incumbents which is something that is often done when maps are made,” said Gaines.

There are six Democrats vying to replace Bustos in the 17th district. In the 16th district, Kinzinger was redrawn into the same region as Republican Darin LaHood who is considered the incumbent.

In Illinois 6th congressional district, two Democrats are running against each other.

District incumbent Rep. Sean Casten is running against Rep. Marie Newman who currently represents Illinois’ 3rd district.

Jacob Rubashkin of Inside Elections explains why state Democrats redrew the district this way.

“Mapmakers wanted to create a majority Latino district in Chicago,” said Rubashkin. “So, there wasn’t room for both of those Democrats, Casten and Newman, in the delegation moving forward.”

Both candidates face off in the June 28th primary.

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