Kinzinger to challenge fellow Republican Manzullo?

2011-05-28T17:50:00Z 2011-05-29T18:47:55Z Kinzinger to challenge fellow Republican Manzullo?By Kurt Erickson | kurt.erickson@lee.net pantagraph.com

SPRINGFIELD — Mapped out of his home territory by a new Democratic map, Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger could be gearing up to run in a district stretching from Livingston County to Rockford.

In a note distributed Saturday, Livingston County Republican Party Chairman John McGlasson said Kinzinger may be planning to run in the newly drawn 16th Congressional District in the 2012 election.

That would set up a potential face-off against fellow GOP colleague Don Manzullo. Freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh of McHenry also may be angling for a shot in the 16th after Democrats drew him into a district with Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Winfield.

The confusing jockeying by Republicans is exactly what Democrats had hoped would happen as they released a proposed new set of boundaries for Illinois congressional districts Friday. The map is drawn to favor Democrats and puts Kinzinger, a former member of the McLean County Board, into a tough-to-win district with Democratic U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Manzullo has represented northern Illinois in Congress since 1992. The new map eliminates a large base of his district and pushes the 16th district south into Livingston, Iroquois and parts of Ford County.

In his note, McGlasson said Kinzinger “has called to say he intends to run for election in our new district.”

Kinzinger, an Air Force pilot who now resides in Manteno, won election in the 11th Congressional District last November when he unseated Democrat Debbie Halvorson of Crete.

A Kinzinger spokeswoman did not immediately return messages.

The new map is expected to be approved by the General Assembly by Tuesday.

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