Adam Kinzinger

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Adam Kinzinger
Adam Kinzinger, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 16th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Donald Manzullo
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 11th district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Debbie Halvorson
Succeeded by Bill Foster
Personal details
Born Adam Daniel Kinzinger
(1978-02-27) February 27, 1978 (age 36)
Kankakee, Illinois, U.S.[1]
Political party Republican
Residence Channahon,[2] Illinois, U.S.
Alma mater Illinois State University[1]
Occupation U.S. Air Force pilot
Religion Protestant[1]
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Air Force, Air National Guard
Years of service 2003–Present
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major
Battles/wars Operation Iraqi Freedom

Adam Daniel Kinzinger[3] (born February 27, 1978) is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 16th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education, and early political career[edit]

Kinzinger was born in 1978 in Kankakee, but raised in Bloomington, Illinois. He graduated from Normal Community West High School in 1996 and earned a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in 2000. He served as an intern for former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald as part of a program offered at Illinois State.

In 2003, he joined the United States Air Force. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in November 2003 and later awarded his pilot wings. Kinzinger was initially a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot and flew missions in South America, Guam, Iraq and Afghanistan. He later switched to flying the RC-26 surveillance aircraft and was stationed in Iraq twice.[4] Kinzinger has served in the Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air National Guard and was progressively promoted to his current rank of Major.[5]

Kinzinger served as a County Board member in McLean County, Illinois from 1998 to 2003. Kinzinger defeated an incumbent County Board member in 1998 while still a student at Illinois State. Kinzinger served in that role until 2003 when he elected to serve full-time in the U.S. Air Force.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Kinzinger at a campaign event.

In January 2009, Kinzinger met with Republican U.S. Congressmen Mike Pence, Mark Kirk, and Peter Roskam to discuss a possible run for Congress.[7] Kinzinger decided to run in Illinois' 11th congressional district, held by Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson. He started campaigning full-time in May 2009, when he returned home from his 3rd tour in Iraq. In the early autumn, Kinzinger held eight town halls across the 11th Congressional District that were attended by nearly 2,000 people. He was endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. On February 2, 2010, Kinzinger won the five-candidate Republican primary with 64% of the vote.[8]

In the general election, he was endorsed by the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. On November 2, 2010, Kinzinger defeated Halvorson 57%–43%.[9]


After redistricting, he decided to run in the newly redrawn Illinois' 16th congressional district. He faced fellow U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo, a 67 year old politician first elected in 1992, in the March primary. Kinzinger currently represents 31% of the district, while Manzullo has represented at least 44% of the district in the past ten years. Kinzinger defeated the longtime incumbent 56%–44%.[10] In the general election, he defeated Democrat Wanda Rohl and won re-election to a second term, 62%–38%.[11]


Kinzinger sponsored the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013, H.R. 235 in the 113th Congress.[12] This legislation would make it easier for veterans with emergency medical technician training in the military to get civilian licenses to perform the same job outside of the military. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote on February 12, 2013 and was referred to the United States Senate.[13]

Kinzinger is a member of both the Republican Study Committee and Republican Main Street Partnership.

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, the Wisconsin Red Cross named Kinzinger "Hero of the Year" for wrestling a knife-wielding man to the ground and disarming him. The man had cut the throat of a woman on a street in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[14] Recalling the event in an ABC Milwaukee interview, Kinzinger stated "The whole time it was, to me, kind of a done deal that I was going to get stabbed in the process, but I knew that this wasn't something I could wake up to ... everyday with that memory that I watched her die."[15] The woman survived. For this act Kinzinger also received the United States Air Force Airman's Medal and the National Guard's Valley Forge Cross for Heroism.


External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Debbie Halvorson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 11th congressional district

January 3, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Kelly
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Raúl Labrador