WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a critic of Donald Trump who is one of two Republicans on the panel investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol attack, announced Friday that he will not seek reelection next year.
The military veteran, who won a long-shot suburban congressional district a decade ago, became one of a handful of Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on the charge of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. He joins a small but growing list of GOP Trump critics in Congress deciding to bow out.
Kinzinger announced his decision in a video early Friday, saying the “time is now” to move on.
“My disappointment in the leaders that don’t lead is huge,” he said.
He hinted at other political plans, saying: “I cannot focus on both a reelection to Congress and a broader fight nationwide. I want to make it clear — this isn’t the end of my political future, but the beginning.”
Republicans are well-positioned to pick up the House majority in next year’s midterm elections, but the departure of Kinzinger and other more traditional conservatives casts a shadow over the party now led by Trump.
The former president’s influence remains strong on GOP voters and Kinzinger’s criticisms of Trump would have become difficult to overcome as his district was being redistricted to lean more Republican.
The Illinois Republican became increasingly critical of his own party since the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. At the invitation of Democrats, he defied his leadership to join Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as a member of the House committee investigating the attack.
He said the country is “poisoned” and “we must unplug from the mistruths we’ve been fed.”