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Our View

16th District Congress: Adam Kinzinger

Adam Kinzinger is seeking a fifth term in Congress, his fourth representing the 16th Congressional District, which includes southwest Will County.

Kinzinger, a Channahon Republican, is a veteran of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. An early opponent of President Donald Trump, he says he now supports him unequivocally for another term.

He is opposed by Democrat Sara Dady, a Rockford immigration attorney whose views stand in direct opposition in many cases: Dady supports a universal “Medicare for all” system while Kinzinger says it would be a disaster that would lead to long lines for health care. He has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act because he says it has forced too many people to changed doctors, lose health care plans, and buy high-deductible plans that are virtually useless in everyday situations. 

Kinzinger says his thinking has “evolved” on tariffs imposed on China, which he now supports because he says the country is ruthless in stealing American technology and in manipulating the market to keep American goods out. Dady says America’s farmers and manufacturers – especially smaller, family owned enterprises – stand to be devastated by the trade war with China.

In the final evaluation, Kinzinger’s positions best match those of the 16th District. Although he supports the trade skirmish with China that has put farmers at a disadvantage and could lead many to store their soybeans this season, he says that money from tariffs collected on Chinese goods can be used to support ag interests.

In general, Kinzinger can be counted on to support measures that will foster American prosperity. He backed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will make federal income tax filing simpler for thousands of people in the district; he also points to the GDP growth and falling unemployment since the act was passed in December 2017 as evidence it is helping everyday Americans.

We’ve heard the repeated criticism from people who say Kinzinger is isolated from the district and reluctant to hold town hall meetings. To some extent, this is rhetoric, but Kinzinger has done little to dispel it, either. For example, of the candidates we interviewed this election season, Kinzinger was the only one to refuse to be video recorded, despite his on-camera experience on cable news. 

He and his staff should look to open more lines of direct communication with constituents.

That criticism aside, we think Kinzinger best matches with the views of the 16th District. He is endorsed.

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