Kinzinger open to running for White House, Illinois governor

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
Greg Nash

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) is mulling a run for statewide office next year and isn’t ruling out the possibility of a 2024 presidential bid. 

The retiring Illinois congressman told CNN that he is considering launching a campaign for either the Senate or the Illinois governor’s mansion. He said he will “probably” make a decision by January. 

He also told the network that he “definitely” isn’t ruling out a bid for president in 2024. 

Kinzinger announced last week that he wouldn’t seek reelection to his House seat in 2022 after Illinois’s Democratic-controlled state legislature approved a new congressional map that did away with his Republican-majority district.

Even before that, however, Kinzinger faced strong headwinds within his own party. His vote in January to impeach former President Trump infuriated conservatives, almost guaranteeing that he would have faced a bruising primary challenge.

If he mounts a bid for statewide office in Illinois, Kinzinger will face an uphill battle. For one, he would still likely face a tough primary campaign, putting his fate in the hands of Republican voters who are still largely aligned with Trump. 

Even if he made it through the primary, the general election would prove tough as well, given Illinois’s blue tilt. 

While Republicans have won statewide office in recent cycles — former Gov. Bruce Rauner, for instance, won in 2014 — Kinzinger would likely go up against well-heeled Democratic incumbents. Both Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Gov. J.B. Pritzker are up for reelection next year.

A 2024 presidential bid wouldn’t likely be any easier for Kinzinger. Trump has floated another run for the White House, while other would-be candidates, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), have closely aligned themselves with the former president and are highly popular among Trump’s voter base.

Tags 2022 midterms 2024 election Adam Kinzinger Donald Trump Illinois governor's race Illinois politics Illinois Senate race Ron DeSantis Tammy Duckworth

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