Rep. Adam Kinzinger raised $2.2 million across his political committees in the first quarter as the embattled Illinois Republican girds to face a primary challenger aligned with former President Donald Trump.
Kinzinger, targeted by Trump and his allies after voting to impeach the former president earlier this year, raised $1.1 million into his reelection campaign in January, February, and March — and another $1.1 million into his political action committee. The six-term congressman, 43, has not made a final decision on running for reelection in 2022 but is proceeding apace so that he is prepared to mount a vigorous campaign.
“My priority is to get reelected; my priority is to continue to build this idea of country first and this movement, to help people that think likewise,” Kinzinger told reporters Wednesday during a video news conference.
Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran, had always been a Trump skeptic. But the congressman supported him over President Joe Biden last November, saying the 45th president was better on the issues despite his occasionally problematic behavior. After the Jan. 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol by grassroots Trump supporters, following months of the former president claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, Kinzinger concluded he needed to be excommunicated from the GOP.
Along with nine other House Republicans, Kinzinger voted to impeach Trump on the grounds that he incited the Capitol riot, and he became a leading GOP voice calling for the party to reject the former president. To broadcast this message and encourage other Republicans to join him, Kinzinger revived his dormant leadership PAC, Country First, producing slick, campaign-style videos to make his case and soliciting donations. The effort has begun to pay off.
During the first three months of the year, Country First attracted more than 10,000 contributors from all 50 states, with an average donation of $46. Kinzinger is using the cash to support the nine House Republicans who, like him, are under fire on the Right for their vote to impeach Trump during his second such inquiry in January. The former president is urging his supporters to oust all of them in next year’s Republican primaries.
“It’s going to be a continuing, difficult fight and battle,” Kinzinger conceded, regarding both his effort to diminish Trump inside the GOP and the potential fight that awaits him in a Republican primary should he pull the trigger on a reelection bid. “It’s a David and Goliath fight. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like there’s going to be equal cash that Donald Trump’s able to get. It’ll be David-and-Goliath. But last time I read, that ended up in David’s favor.”
Kinzinger’s elevated profile as an anti-Trump Republican is being bolstered by a new super PAC, Americans Keeping Country First, formed by his allies. The group plans to issue its first Federal Election Commission disclosure in July, upon the conclusion of the second quarter fundraising period. Kinzinger’s Republican primary opponent, Catalina Lauf, launched her challenge by declaring, “It’s time to restore the America First agenda in Illinois’s 16th District.”
Original Author: David M. Drucker
Original Location: Trump-targeted Adam Kinzinger raises $2.2M for 2022 bid