Illinois GOP Voters Opt for Freshman Over Veteran
Faced with a choice between a 10-term congressman and a freshman, Illinois voters opted for the newcomer in a heated Republican primary battle, while in a separate race one of the state’s veteran Democrats easily won the biggest re-election fight of his 17-year congressional career.
In an incumbent versus incumbent GOP clash that was forced by redistricting, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who was among the five Illinois freshmen elected in 2010 during a tea party-backed Republican surge, won the nomination Tuesday with a double-digit victory over U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. won his Democratic primary over former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson.
Kinzinger, a former Air Force pilot who still serves in Air National Guard, had received a late endorsement from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Because no Democrat was on the ballot, Kinzinger is almost certainly headed back to Washington.