WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach then-President Donald Trump on a charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Friday said he would not seek re-election in 2022.
The Illinois congressman, who also bucked party leadership by joining a House of Representatives panel investigating the Capitol riot, lamented national divisions in announcing his exit.
“I cannot focus on both a re-election to Congress and a broader fight nationwide,” Kinzinger, 43, said in a video posted on Twitter. He is in his sixth two-year term representing a district just outside Chicago.
Kinzinger was the second of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump to choose not to seek re-election in the 2022 contests that will determine control of Congress. Democrats hold slim majorities in both the House and Senate.
Kinzinger also faced a difficult race next year.
Hours before his announcement, Illinois’ Democrat-led state legislature approved a new map for congressional districts that would pit Kinzinger against another Republican incumbent, Representative Darin LaHood, in a single, heavily Republican district.
Illinois and other state governments are currently redrawing congressional district boundaries following the 2020 census.
Trump, the first U.S. president in history to be impeached twice, was narrowly acquitted by the Senate. He has lambasted Kinzinger and other Republicans who criticized him for his false claims that he lost the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden due to voter fraud.
“2 down, 8 to go!” Trump said in a statement on Friday following Kinzinger’s announcement. The former president has endorsed https://www.reuters.com/world/us/trumps-revenge-endorsements-drive-republican-congressman-race-2021-09-09 primary challengers to four House Republicans and a Senate Republican, Lisa Murkowski, who supported his second impeachment.
In September, Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, another Republican who voted to impeach Trump, dropped out of his re-election race, citing “the toxic dynamics inside our own party.”
Representative Liz Cheney, who also cast a vote for impeachment, was ousted from her House Republican leadership post after repeatedly criticizing Trump’s claims. Once considered a rising star in the party, she faces a tough re-election battle in her home state of Wyoming.
Kinzinger, who had also been one of Trump’s fiercest critics in the Republican Party, was less pointed in the video announcing his exit from Congress.
He said his political career was not over. While he did not specify his next steps, he urged viewers to support a political action committee, or fund-raising organization, which could support his political allies.
“My disappointment in the leaders that don’t lead is huge,” Kinzinger said. “We must unplug from the mistruths we’ve been fed.”
(Reporting by Jason Lange; editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)