Adam Kinzinger

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Adam Kinzinger
Adam Kinzinger official congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 16th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Don 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 38)
Kankakee, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Republican
Alma mater Illinois State University
Religion Protestantism
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Air Force
Years of service 2003–present
Rank US-O4 insignia.svg Major
Battles/wars Operation Iraqi Freedom
War in Afghanistan

Adam Daniel Kinzinger[1] (born February 27, 1978)[2] is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 16th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party. He was first elected to Congress in 2010, winning election to represent Illinois's 11th congressional district. After redistricting, he was re-elected to Congress in both 2012 and 2014 to represent Illinois's 16th congressional district.

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

Kinzinger was born in 1978 in Kankakee, the son of Betty Jo, an elementary school teacher, and Rus Kinzinger, a CEO of faith-based organizations.[3][4] He was 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.

In 1998, while a student at Illinois State, Kinzinger ran for election as a County Board member in McLean County, Illinois. He won, defeating an incumbent County Board member. Kinzinger remained on the board until 2003.[5]

Kinzinger worked as an intern for former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald shortly after his graduation from Illinois State, as part of a program offered there.[6]

In 2003, Kinzinger 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.[7] 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.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



In January 2009, Kinzinger met Republican U.S. Congressmen Mike Pence, Mark Kirk, and Peter Roskam to discuss a possible run for Congress.[9] 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.[10]

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%.[11]


After redistricting, Kinzinger 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 Republican primary. Kinzinger had represented 31% of the district, while Manzullo had represented at least 44% of the district, prior to redistricting. Kinzinger defeated Manzullo, 56%–44%.[12] In the general election, Kinzinger defeated Democrat Wanda Rohl, 62%–38%.[13]


In 2014, Kinzinger was targeted by the Club for Growth.[14] In the Republican primary, he faced David Hale, a nurse and founder of the Rockford Tea Party. Kinzinger won with 78% of the vote.[15][16]

In the general election, Kinzinger faced Democratic nominee Randall Olsen; he won with 71% of the vote.[17][18]


Kinzinger won the March 2016 Republican primary with 100% of the vote.[19] No candidates filed for the Democratic primary for his seat.

On August 3, 2016, Kinzinger announced publicly that he would not support GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. "I'm an American before I'm a Republican," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, adding that "I'm a Republican because I believe that Republicanism is the best way to defend the United States of America… [Trump] throws all of these Republican principles on their head." Kinzinger noted, however, that he also would not support Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and was mulling other options.[20]


In 2010 Kinzinger signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any global warming legislation that would raise taxes.[21]

Kinzinger sponsored the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013, H.R. 235 in the 113th Congress.[22] 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.[23]

On June 5, 2014, Kinzinger introduced a bill (H.R. 4801; 113th Congress) which would require the United States Secretary of Energy to prepare a report on the effects that thermal insulation has on both energy consumption and systems for providing potable water in federal buildings.[24][25] Kinzinger argued that "with the federal government being the single largest consumer of energy in the country, doing our best to maximize the potential savings from improved insulation systems is a commonsense step I think everybody can agree on."[25]

Kinzinger is a member of both the Republican Study Committee and the more moderate Republican Main Street Partnership.[citation needed]

Conservative Review graded Kinzinger's 2016 voting record as an "F", with a Liberty Score of 35%. Out of 247 Republicans in the House of Representatives, 37 received a lower grade (had a more liberal voting record).[26] The American Conservative Union (ACU) awarded Kinzinger a somewhat higher score, giving him a Lifetime Rating of 59.60 out of 100.[27]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

  • Congressional Cement Caucus

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.[28] Recalling the event in an interview, Kinzinger said "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."[29] 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.[30]

In 2011, Kinzinger was ranked 5th on The Hill's annual "50 Most Beautiful People" list, which ranks anyone who regularly works on Capitol Hill.[31]

In 2011, Kinzinger became engaged to a fellow pilot, Air Force Captain Riki Meyers; the engagement was called off in 2012.[32][33]


  1. ^ "Representative Adam Daniel Kinzinger (Adam) (R-Illinois, 16th) – Biography from". LegiStorm. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  2. ^ Smith, Lauren (November 6, 2010). "112th Congress: Paul Gosar, Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. (11th District)". Congressional Quarterly. Retrieved November 7, 2010. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Steinbacher, Michele. "Kinzinger's win no surprise to those around him". Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "How's it Going? - A Q&A with Illinois' 5 freshman congressmen". June 21, 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "Adam Kinzinger For Illinois 11th — Hero, Patriot". Stop The ACLU. 2009-03-03. Archived from the original on 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  6. ^ "Department Alumn Congressman Adam Kinzinger Awarded Outstanding Young Alumni Award". Illinois State University. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  7. ^ Chuck Sweeny (2012-01-10). "Chuck Sweeny: GOP's Adam Kinzinger got politics bug early – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL". Retrieved 2015-03-14. [permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Biography". Adam Kinzinger for U.S.Congress. Archived from the original on 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  9. ^ "Illinois: First GOPer Lines Up to Take On Halvorson : Roll Call Politics". 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  10. ^ "IL District 11-R Primary Race – Feb 02, 2010". Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  11. ^ "IL – District 11 Race – Nov 02, 2010". Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  12. ^ "IL – District 16 – R Primary Race – Mar 20, 2012". Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  13. ^ "2014 Election Results Senate: Map by State, Live Midterm Voting Updates". Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  14. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (February 27, 2013). "Club for Growth targeting 9 'RINO' Republicans for primary challenges – The Hill's Ballot Box". Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  15. ^ Sweeny, Chuck (September 12, 2013). "Chuck Sweeny: Tea Party's David Hale to challenge Adam Kinzinger". Rockford Register Star. Rockford, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Official Illinois State Board of Elections Results" (PDF). Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  17. ^ Misener, Jacob (December 5, 2013). "Democratic challenger emerges in 16th District race". The Daily Leader. Pontiac, Illinois. Retrieved March 2, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Illinois General Election 2014". Illinois State Board of Elections. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  19. ^ "2016 Illinois primary results, March 15, 2016". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 13, 2016. 
  20. ^ "GOP congressman says he can't support Trump: 'I'm an American before I'm a Republican'". CNN. 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  21. ^ "Americans for Prosperity Applauds U.S. House Candidate Adam Kinzinger" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-03-14. 
  22. ^ "H.R. 235 –". United States Congress. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Bill Summary & Status – H.R. 235 – All Congressional Actions". Library of Congress. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  24. ^ "CBO – H.R. 4801". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  25. ^ a b LaFreniere, Kelsey (11 June 2014). "Alliance Vice-Chair Rep. Kinzinger Pushes For Energy Efficiency". Alliance to Save Energy. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Liberty Scorecard - Conservative Review". Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  27. ^ "Federal Legislative Ratings". American Conservative Union. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  28. ^ [1][dead link]
  29. ^ "Adam Kinzinger saves woman's life/Milwaukee TV report". YouTube. 2010-06-22. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  30. ^ "Kinzinger considers challenging Halvorson in 11th CD". Illinois Review. 2009-01-16. Archived from the original on 2009-12-12. Retrieved 2015-06-03. 
  31. ^ "50 Most Beautiful People for 2011". The Hill. 2011-07-27. Archived from the original on 2015-06-23. Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  32. ^ Goodin, Emily (December 13, 2012). "Rep. Kinzinger's wedding called off". The Hill. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  33. ^ Skiba, Katherine (December 21, 2011). "Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois gets engaged". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 

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

Succeeded by
Bill Foster
Preceded by
Don Manzullo
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 16th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Kelly
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Raúl Labrador