Woodstock native Catalina Lauf to challenge U.S. Rep. Kinzinger in GOP primary
Woodstock resident Catalina Lauf announced in a video Tuesday evening that she plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger in the Republican primary to represent Illinois' 16th Congressional District after she said his criticism of former President Donald Trump brought division to the party.
In a three-minute rebuke of Kinzinger's rhetoric and voting record, Lauf, a former member of the Trump administration who also ran for Congress last year in the 14th District, introduced herself as a small-business owner and a grass-roots politician sporting the slogan "America first."
"I never thought I'd primary a fellow Republican, but is Adam Kinzinger really a Republican anymore?" Lauf said at the start of the video. "He isn't, and we have the proof."
District 16 covers much of the Rockford area and spans from DeKalb to Dixon in the north down across Princeton, Ottawa and Channahon and then down to Pontiac and Watseka in the south, with the southernmost point being Gibson City.
Kinzinger, of Channahon, has been an outspoken critic of Trump and of the Republican Party since Trump's election in 2016.
"Republicans must say enough is enough," Kinzinger said in a six-minute video released Jan. 31. "It's time to unplug the outrage machine, reject the politics of personality and cast aside the conspiracy theories and the rage."
He was one of only 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Trump last month in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Lauf said Kinzinger has divided the party in an already divisive time. She criticized him for crossing party lines on recent key votes, such as the vote to impeach, calling the impeachment trial "phony" and a "hoax."
"Instead of focusing on what really matters, instead of being in our fight, (Kinzinger) betrayed his constituents for a life in the D.C. swamp," Lauf said.
Lauf introduced her platform with a focus on setting term limits for members of Congress. Other key issues she said she wants to focus on included social media censorship, election integrity, freedom of speech, gun rights, illegal immigration and "keeping the economy going," according to statements made in the video.
Lauf ran in the Republican primary to represent Illinois' 14th Congressional District in 2020 but came in third with just over 20% of the vote, behind Jim Oberweis (26%) and Sue Rezin (23%). Oberweis went on to lose the general election to Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood.
Two other Republicans have also said they will challenge Kinzinger in the 2022 primary: James Marter, an Oswego resident who also ran against Kinzinger in 2018, and Jack Lombardi of Will County.