Adam Kinzinger
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Adam Kinzinger
Adam Kinzinger
Adam Kinzinger official portrait 115th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois

January 3, 2011
Debbie Halvorson
Constituency11th district (2011-2013)
16th district (2013-present)
Personal details
Adam Daniel Kinzinger

(1978-02-27) February 27, 1978 (age 41)
Kankakee, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationIllinois State University (BA)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Air Force
Years of service2003-present
RankUS Air Force O5 shoulderboard rotated.svg Lieutenant colonel
Battles/warsIraq War
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
War in Afghanistan

Adam Daniel Kinzinger[1] (born February 27, 1978)[2] is an American politician serving as 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 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 to represent Illinois's 16th congressional district.

Early life, education, and early political career

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] In his youth, after spending some time in Jacksonville, Florida, he was primarily raised in Bloomington, Illinois. He graduated from Normal Community West High School in 1996[5] and earned a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in 2000.[6]

In 1998, while a student at Illinois State, Kinzinger ran for election as a County Board member in McLean County, Illinois. He won, and was one of the youngest serving county board members in McLean County history[7], defeating an incumbent County Board member. Kinzinger remained on the Board until 2003.[8]

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.[9]

Military service

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.[10]

Kinzinger has served in the Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Wisconsin Air National Guard and was progressively promoted to his current rank of Lieutenant Colonel.[11] As part of his continued service with the Air National Guard, in February 2019, Kinzinger was deployed to the US/Mexico border as part of efforts to maintain border security.[12]

U.S. House of Representatives



In January 2009, Kinzinger met Republican U.S. Congressmen Mike Pence, Mark Kirk, and Peter Roskam to discuss a possible run for Congress.[13] 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. 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.[14]

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%.[15]


During his first term, Kinzinger represented a district that stretched from the outer southern suburbs of Chicago to Bloomington/Normal.

After redistricting, Kinzinger's district was eliminated. Much of its eastern portion, including Kinzinger's home in Channahon, near Joliet, was merged with the Rockford-based 16th District, represented by fellow Republican Don Manzullo, a 67-year-old politician first elected in 1992. Kinzinger had represented 31% of the district, while Manzullo had represented at least 44% of the district, prior to redistricting. In the March Republican primary, Kinzinger defeated Manzullo, 56%-44%.[16] In the general election, Kinzinger defeated Democrat Wanda Rohl, 62%-38%.[17]


In 2014, Kinzinger was targeted by the Club for Growth.[18] In the Republican primary, he faced David Hale, a nurse and founder of the Rockford Tea Party. Kinzinger won with 78% of the vote.[19][20]

In the general election, Kinzinger faced Democratic nominee Randall Olsen; he won with 71% of the vote.[21][22]


Kinzinger won the March 2016 Republican primary with 100% of the vote.[23] 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.[24]

Kinzinger introduced the U.S. House version of the bipartisan bill Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act.[25] The United States Senate version was written in March 2016 by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Rob Portman.[26] After the 2016 U.S. presidential election, worries grew that Russian propaganda spread and organized by the Russian government swayed the outcome of the election, and representatives in the U.S. Congress took action to safeguard the National security of the United States by advancing legislation to monitor incoming propaganda from external threats.[26][27] On November 30, 2016, legislators approved a measure within the National Defense Authorization Act to ask the U.S. State Department to take action against foreign propaganda through an interagency panel.[26][27] The legislation authorized funding of $160 million over a two-year-period.[26] The initiative was developed through the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act.[26]


Kinzinger defeated Democratic challenger Sara Dady with 59.1 percent of the vote. After the 2018 midterm elections, which saw all of the Republicans representing districts in Chicago's inner ring defeated, he was left as the only Republican representing a district anchored in northern Illinois.


Kinzinger speaking at Hudson Institute.

In 2010 Kinzinger signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any global warming legislation that would raise taxes.[28]

In 2013, Kinzinger sponsored the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2013. The legislation, which 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, passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote but was not voted upon by the Senate.[29]

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.[30][31] 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."[31]

Kinzinger is a member of both the Republican Study Committee and the more moderate Republican Main Street Partnership.[32]

Conservative Review gave Kinzinger's voting record a "Liberty Score" 35%,[33] while the American Conservative Union (ACU) gave Kinzinger a Lifetime Rating of 59.60 out of 100.[34] Kinzinger was ranked as the 40th most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 114th United States Congress (and the third most bipartisan member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois) in the Bipartisan Index created by The Lugar Center and the McCourt School of Public Policy that ranks members of the United States Congress by their degree of bipartisanship (by measuring the frequency each member's bills attract co-sponsors from the opposite party and each member's co-sponsorship of bills by members of the opposite party).[35]

Kinzinger voted in favor of the 2017 Republican health care legislation, which would have repealed major parts of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).[36]

In December 2017, Kinzinger voted in favor of the Republican tax legislation.[37][38]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Domestic issues

Gun law

Kinzinger is in favor of allowing concealed carry of firearms across state lines where concealed carry is legal.[45]

Health care

Kinzinger supports the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare").[45]

Economic issues

Kinzinger opposes the Dodd-Frank Act.[45]

International issues


On Twitter, Rep. Kinzinger praised Donald Trump's decision to kill Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force, the second most powerful person in Iran.[46] Reacting to news of the assassination, Adam Kinzinger Tweeted, "Mess with the bull, get the horns. If true, nice call, @realdonaldtrump."[47] He continued Tweeting, saying "killed a man responsible for thousands of deaths in #Syria and elsewhere, including Americans. Let's see how long the #blameAmerica left takes to make him a poor victim."[48] Rep Kinzinger then retweeted a Tweet that said "Bye Felicia".[49]


Kinzinger supports penalizing sanctuary cities.[45]

Social issues


Kinzinger opposes late term abortion and the use of federal funds for abortion or health coverage that funds abortion.[45]


Kinzinger has a "B" rating from NORML for his voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. Kinzinger supports veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence.[50]

Electoral history

Illinois 11th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2010[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger 32,233 63.67
Republican Dave White 5,257 10.38
Republican David McAloon 4,880 9.64
Republican Henry W. Meers, Jr. 4,555 9.00
Republican Darrel Miller 3,701 7.31
Total votes 50,626 100.0
Illinois 11th Congressional District General Election, 2010[52]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger 129,108 57.35
Democratic Deborah "Debbie" Halvorson (incumbent) 96,019 42.65
Total votes 225,127 100.0
Illinois 16th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2012[53]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger 45,546 53.94
Republican Donald A. Manzullo (incumbent) 38,889 46.06
Total votes 84,435 100.0
Illinois 16th Congressional District General Election, 2012[54]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger 181,789 61.81
Democratic Wanda Rohl 112,301 38.19
Total votes 294,090 100.0
Illinois 16th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2014[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger (incumbent) 56,593 78.44
Republican David J. Hale, Jr. 15,558 21.56
Total votes 72,151 100.0
Illinois 16th Congressional District General Election, 2014[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger (incumbent) 153,388 70.62
Democratic Randall Wayne Olsen 63,810 29.38
Total votes 217,198 100.0
Illinois 16th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2016[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger (incumbent) 101,421 100.0
Republican Colin M. McGroarty 2 0.00
Total votes 101,423 100.0
Illinois 16th Congressional District General Election, 2016[58]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger (incumbent) 259,722 99.95
Write-in votes John F. Burchardt 131 0.05
Total votes 259,853 100.0
Illinois 16th Congressional District Republican Primary, 2018[59]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger (incumbent) 44,878 67.87
Republican James T. "Jim" Marter 21,242 32.13
Total votes 66,120 100.0
Illinois 16th Congressional District General Election, 2018[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Adam Kinzinger (incumbent) 151,254 59.12
Democratic Sara Dady 104,569 40.88
Write-in votes John M. Stassi 2 0.00
Total votes 255,825 100.0

Personal life

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.[61] 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."[62] 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.[63]

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.[64]

In 2011, Kinzinger became engaged to his girlfriend, a fellow pilot, Air Force Captain Riki Meyers; the engagement was called off in 2012.[65][66] In June 2019, Kinzinger became engaged to Sofia Boza-Holman, a former aide to John Boehner and aide to Vice President Mike Pence.[67] They were married on February 16, 2020.[68]


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  61. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  62. ^ "Adam Kinzinger saves woman's life/Milwaukee TV report". YouTube. 2010-06-22. Retrieved .
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  65. ^ Goodin, Emily (December 13, 2012). "Rep. Kinzinger's wedding called off". The Hill. Retrieved 2015.
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  67. ^
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External links

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