Congressional candidates who were to take on Kinzinger announce they're changing districts
Two candidates who had been campaigning to unseat U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger in Illinois' 16th District are setting their sights on new targets.
Republican Jack Lombardi of Manhattan will run in the largely suburban 14th District, while Democrat Marsha Williams of Channahon will run in the 17th District, which encompasses much of northwestern Illinois. Both candidates announced the changes Monday.
The 14th District now is served by two-term Democrat Lauren Underwood of Naperville, who's seeking reelection in 2022. The 17th is served by Democrat Cheri Bustos of Moline, who isn't running again.
Kinzinger, a six-term incumbent from Channahon, announced late last month that he won't seek reelection in the 16th.
Republican U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood of the Peoria area, who now serves the 18th District, will run in the 16th.
Other Republicans have said they'll run in the 16th, too, but plans are shifting because of redistricting. Congressional district lines are changing and Illinois is losing one district because the state's population dropped between the 2010 and 2020 censuses.
Although the General Assembly has approved a new map, the boundaries haven't yet been accepted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
The Constitution doesn't require congressional representatives to live in the districts they serve.
Lombardi lives in the 1st District, and that would continue. A conservative Republican who has touted support from recently censured U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Lombardi said he's "proud and honored" to run in the 14th.
"It is critical that we take back the (14th) District from the Democrats and restore sanity in Washington, D.C.," Lombardi said in a news release. "Our freedoms are under assault by Democrats in Congress and the Biden Administration."
Lombardi isn't the only GOP candidate in the 14th District race. Oswego's James Marter announced last month that he'd be running for the post. Like Lombardi and Williams, Marter previously had been a candidate in the 16th District.
Radio host Michael Koolidge of DeKalb is seeking the Republican nomination in the 14th, too.
Williams is a 16th District resident, and she'll live in the 1st District if the proposed map is approved. She had lived in Wilmington until recently, a campaign spokeswoman said.
Williams said she initially planned to run for the 16th District seat because she wanted to take on Kinzinger. In announcing her campaign's changing focus, she noted the 17th won't have an incumbent candidate in 2022.
"While Kinzinger may be on his way out, we still have work to do," Williams said in a news release. "After talking to my family, to those who believed in my candidacy and my team, we all concluded that the best place to continue our fight for working people is in the open seat (in the 17th District)."
Four Democrats and three Republicans already have filed paperwork indicating intention to run in the 17th District, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Illinois' midterm primary elections are set for June 28, 2022.