Kinzinger faces uphill climb after districts redrawn

2011-10-08T16:56:00Z 2011-10-10T16:44:29Z Kinzinger faces uphill climb after districts redrawnBy Greg Stanmar |

OTTAWA -- Adam Kinzinger, who now faces an uphill climb after congressional districts were redrawn earlier this year, refused to speculate Saturday on how he would beat the 10-term incumbent he most likely will face in next year's primary.

"With the pending lawsuit, (primary opposition) still has to happen," said Kinzinger, 33, of Manteno after his prepared remarks. When new district maps came out, Manteno was in the 2nd Congressional District, where incumbent Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. has strong support from his Chicago constituents. Manteno's new district will not include portions of Central Illinois and McLean County, as does the current 11th Congressional.

Kinzinger announced earlier he would instead run in the 16th Congressional, now occupied by Don Manzullo, 66, a 10-term Republican from Egan.

The law that forced redistricting after the census also allows a person to run outside his district if that person takes up residency there within six months.

Republicans are challenging the map drawn up by the Democratic majority in Springfield. There is no indication when the federal lawsuit on redistricting will be heard.

The difference between Republican candidates will be brought out "as the campaign goes on," said Kinzinger.

Kinzinger was introduced by Chicago radio personality Dan Croft of WLS to a reception of about 100 people.

Fellow newcomers to Congress are "ready for a fresh way of looking at things," he said. He drew one of the biggest ovations when he promised to continue the fight to repeal the health care reform law passed by the previous congress.

He seemed to choke up as he talked about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and said he saw what the nation "can do if it is united."

Kinzinger differs in opinion from many of his Republican colleagues, who are calling for an end to the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. He is a military reserve pilot who has flown in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We live in the greatest country in the world (and it is) well worth fighting for," he said.

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