Kinzinger: ‘I’m the only candidate that can win’ against Pritzker

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FILE – In this May 12, 2021 file photo, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., speaks to the media at the Capitol in Washington. Kinzinger a critic of Donald Trump who is one of two Republicans on the panel investigating the deadly Capitol attack, announced Friday, Oct. 29, that he will not seek re-election next year. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades, File)

(WTVO) — “If I ran for governor, I think I’m the only candidate that could win [against current Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker],’ Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R) said during a Tuesday interview.

Kinzinger was speaking on Crain’s “A.D. Q&A” podcast. Earlier this month, Kinzinger said he would make a decision by January as to whether he would run for either governor or U.S. Senate next year.

He had announced he would not seek reelection to the House in 2022, after state lawmakers approved a congressional map which would eliminate his district.

According to The Hill, Kinzinger said Republicans are under pressure to “race to the far right,” a tactic he said which would be a losing strategy in a Democratic-leaning state.

“I don’t know how many times I hear people tell me if you just activate the base, we can win Illinois,” Kinzinger said. “Listen, the base is very activated and we can’t win Illinois unless we win back those suburbs, right? The suburbs that Republicans used to win all the time.”

Kinzinger, who was one of former President Donald Trump’s most vocal critics and served on the January 6th commission investigating the Capitol riot, continued, saying, “I do recognize the difficulty of a primary in this environment, and I recognize that we’re in a moment where I think there are some people that would rather torch their chances at winning the Illinois governor’s race than dare vote for somebody that’s a conservative that doesn’t like Donald Trump.”

Currently, venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan, Sen. Darren Bailey, and former Sen. Paul Schimpf are among the Republican candidates who have announced their candidacy for governor.

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