Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 2010, 2nd term.

Born: February 27, 1978, Kankakee, IL

Home: Channahon, IL

Education: IL St. U., B.S. 2000.

Professional Career: Partner, sales rep., STL Technology, 2000-03.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Christian Church

Family: Single

Republican Adam Kinzinger, elected in 2010, is a telegenic conservative just in his 30s who has racked up considerable experience in the military and political worlds. A former Air Force pilot, he dispatched first-term Democratic Rep. Debbie Halvorson, and then two years later, knocked off 10-term Republican Don Manzullo in a brutal Republican primary in 2012.

Kinzinger was born in Kankakee, Ill., but spent the majority of his life in Bloomington, 70 miles to the southwest. He attributes his interest in public service to his father, who ran a nonprofit homeless shelter, and his mother, a public school teacher. He says that growing up in a middle-class family with two siblings taught him to spend money prudently. Wanting to stay near home, he attended Illinois State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2000. His first foray into politics came before that: In 1998, as a college sophomore, he took seriously a joking suggestion that he run for the McLean County Board. He did, defeating an incumbent and serving until 2003. When the September 11 terrorist attacks occurred, “that’s when I basically woke up,” he recalled. A month later, he joined the Air Force. But he began working in the private sector for STL Technology Partners until he could begin officer and pilot training. He eventually served three tours in Iraq from 2007 to 2009 and a tour in Afghanistan.

In the summer of 2006, Kinzinger was returning from the border of Mexico as part of his mission when he saw an attempted murder. Seeing a woman whose throat had been slashed running from her knife-wielding aggressor, he wrestled the man to the ground until police arrived. As a result, he was awarded the National Guard’s Valley Forge Cross for heroism. “During that whole thing, I thought I was going to die,” he told National Journal. “It really was a life-changing moment about sacrificing yourself for others.”

In May 2009, after returning from his final tour in Iraq, Kinzinger began to campaign for the state’s 11th District seat. Touting his military service, he beat four opponents in the 2010 Republican primary, getting 64% of the vote. In the fall, he was up against Halvorson, who had racked up an impressive 58% of the vote in 2008. But Kinzinger went into the contest with important backing from local tea party activists.

Halvorson attacked Kinzinger’s stance on free trade and depicted him as inexperienced, running a campaign ad with a senior citizen scolding, “Young man, you have no idea what you’re doing.” Kinzinger countered with endorsements from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. He also won the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business over Halvorson, a blow to an incumbent who had been known in Washington for her advocacy of small business. He also picked up an endorsement from the Chicago Sun-Times, which often backs Democrats. Kinzinger won convincingly, with 57% of the vote to 43% for Halvorson.

When he got to Washington, Kinzinger had his first brush with the national news media when The New York Times took him to task in a December 2010 editorial after Kinzinger held a $5,000-a-head breakfast at the Capitol Hill Club to raise money for his campaign debt. The editorial said it smacked of “business as usual” for a lawmaker who had promised to be different. But he became a favorite of House GOP leaders, who put him on the whip team and gave him a choice seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he has generally upheld business’ interests. He has called for dramatically overhauling the tax code to make it friendlier to companies. He got a bill through the House in September 2012 aimed at helping states streamline certification requirements for veterans with emergency medical technician training who want to continue as civilian EMTs. Time named him as one of its “40 Under 40” young leaders.

For 2012, Democratic-engineered redistricting put Kinzinger in the same district as Manzullo, who is twice the age of his rival. The race upended the traditional rules of young versus old: Kinzinger won the endorsement of senior House GOP leaders, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Whip Kevin McCarthy, while Manzullo played up his tea party support and won the nod from FreedomWorks PAC, an important financial backer of that movement.

Kinzinger went on air touting his combat tours in Iraq and hit Manzullo for voting to raise the debt limit 12 times in his career. But Manzullo fired back effectively, boasting in an ad that he had voted to cut $209 billion more in spending than Kinzinger in the current session of Congress. Primary voters decided to go with youth over experience, and Kinzinger won 54%-46%. In the fall, he had no trouble, winning with 62% over Democrat Wanda Rohl.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3635

(202) 225-3521

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1221
Washington, DC 20515-1316

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-3635

(202) 225-3521

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1221
Washington, DC 20515-1316

DISTRICT OFFICE

(815) 431-9271

(815) 431-9383

628 Columbus Street Suite 507
Ottawa, IL 61350

DISTRICT OFFICE

(815) 431-9271

(815) 431-9383

628 Columbus Street Suite 507
Ottawa, IL 61350

DISTRICT OFFICE

(815) 708-8032

725 North Lyford Road Suite 3
Rockford, IL 61107

DISTRICT OFFICE

(815) 708-8032

725 North Lyford Road Suite 3
Rockford, IL 61107

DISTRICT OFFICE

(815) 432-0580

342 West Walnut
Watseka, IL 60970

DISTRICT OFFICE

(815) 432-0580

342 West Walnut
Watseka, IL 60970

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(815) 215-4787

25566 South Keating Boulevard
Channahon, IL 60410-5623

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

25566 South Keating Boulevard
Channahon, IL 60410-5623

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Agriculture

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Appropriations

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Budget

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Campaign

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Communication

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Crime

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Education

Sarah Czufin
Legislative Assistant

Energy

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Environment

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Foreign

Zach Silberman
Legislative Assistant

Govt Ops

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Gun Issues

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Health

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Human Rights

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Immigration

Sarah Czufin
Legislative Assistant

Zach Silberman
Legislative Assistant

Labor

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Religion

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Rules

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Science

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Seniors

Sarah Czufin
Legislative Assistant

Technology

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Telecommunications

Josh Baggett
Legislative Director

Trade

Zach Silberman
Legislative Assistant

Transportation

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Veterans

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Welfare

J.T. Mackey
Legislative Assistant

jt.mackey@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-3635

Sarah Czufin
Legislative Assistant

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Adam Kinzinger
Votes: 181,789
Percent: 61.81%
Wanda Rohl
Votes: 112,301
Percent: 38.19%
2012 PRIMARY
Adam Kinzinger
Votes: 45,546
Percent: 53.94%
Don Manzullo
Votes: 38,889
Percent: 46.06%
2010 GENERAL
Adam Kinzinger
Votes: 129,108
Percent: 57.35%
Debbie Halvorson
Votes: 96,019
Percent: 42.65%
2010 PRIMARY
Adam Kinzinger
Votes: 32,233
Percent: 63.67%
Dave White
Votes: 5,257
Percent: 10.38%
David McAloon
Votes: 4,880
Percent: 9.64%
Henry Meers
Votes: 4,555
Percent: 9.0%
Darrel Miller
Votes: 3,701
Percent: 7.31%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (57%)

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