Amid Illinois Democrats crafting a congressional map that might eliminate Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s district, and conservatives increasingly at odds with the staunch anti-Trump lawmaker, Chicago GOP Chairman Steve Boulton tells The Federalist he thinks Kinzinger is unlikely to prevail in a primary.
“I don’t think his prospects are all that good,” said Boulton. “He’s decided to go this way and take this course [against] President Trump. I think Adam could have been a good candidate had he not done what he did with President Trump. I don’t think many in the party support him.”
“I don’t think he can win a primary,” the chairman also said.”I really don’t. Not a statewide primary. He’s just not going to be able to do it.”
Boulton’s comments come as Kinzinger continues to distance himself from the mainstream Republican Party. Kinzinger was one of 10 GOP members who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and claimed this week the former president’s administration “set [the Biden administration] up to fail” in Afghanistan.
Last month, members of the GOP’s House Freedom Caucus urged House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to implement a rule that would prohibit members who joined an opposing party committee from remaining in the House Republican Conference. This would apply to Kinzinger and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who were appointed by Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to sit on the Jan. 6. riot commission.
“It is antithetical to have sitting in your conference individuals who have professed that they want to take out the minority leader and that they want to join the Democrats on a witch hunt through the Republican Party to try to take members of the Republican Party out,” GOP Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs said at the time.
Matters seem to be souring for Kinzinger. Democrats in Illinois redrew the state’s legislative map based on census data and have scheduled several hearings prior to next week’s special session to finalize matters. The new map would reportedly eliminate Kinzinger’s district, according to sources who spoke to Politico. ” …[F]ew party operatives in D.C. or Illinois could envision a final plan that leaves much of Kinzinger’s seat intact,” the outlet noted.
Spokeswoman Maura Gillespie from Kinzinger’s office declined to comment, and his campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Kinzinger claimed recently he would not rule out a run for senator or governor, but Boulton said it would be a mistake.
“He can undertake it if he wants to,” Boulton said. “I’m simply saying that I have my doubts as to whether he can win a statewide primary right now — for either seat. That’s all stuff he brought on himself, he didn’t have to do this.”
Boulton said Kinzinger goes out of his way to grandstand against his own party.
“You have to take a holistic view of President Trump. There’s some bad but there’s an awful lot of good. And Mr. Kinzinger decided only to focus on the bad for his own purposes. That I really take issue with,” he said.