ENG: Adam Daniel Kinzinger (born February 27, 1978) is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 16th congressional district. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education, and early political career
Kinzinger was born in 1978 in Kankakee, but raised in Bloomington, Illinois. He graduated from Normal Community West High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in 2000. He served as an intern for former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald as part of a program offered at Illinois State.
In 2003, he joined the United States Air Force.
He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in November 2003 and later awarded his pilot wings. Kinzinger was initially a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot and flew missions in South America, Guam, Iraq and Afghanistan. He later switched to flying the RC-26 spy plane and was stationed in Iraq twice. Kinzinger has served in the Air Force Special Ops, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air National Guard and was later promoted to Major.
Kinzinger served as a County Board member in McLean County, Illinois from 1998 to 2003. Kinzinger defeated an incumbent County Board member in 1998 while still a student at Illinois State.
Kinzinger served in that role until 2003 when he elected to serve full-time in the U.S. Air Force.
U.S. House of Representatives - Elections - 2010
Kinzinger was in Washington, D.C. in January 2009 meeting with GOP House Conference Chairman, Congressman Mike Pence and fellow Congressmen Mark Kirk and Peter Roskam to discuss his possible run for Congress. Kinzinger decided to run in Illinois' 11th congressional district, held by Democrat Debbie Halvorson.
He started campaigning full-time in May 2009, when he returned home from his 3rd tour in Iraq. In the early autumn, Kinzinger held eight town halls across the 11th Congressional District that were attended by nearly 2,000 people. He was endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
After redistricting, he decided to run in the newly redrawn Illinois' 16th congressional district. He faced fellow U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo, a 67 year old politician first elected in 1992, in the March primary.
Kinzinger currently represents 31% of the district, while Manzullo has represented at least 44% of the district in the past ten years. Kinzinger defeated the longtime incumbent 56%-44%. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Wanda Rohl and won re-election to a second term, 62%-38%.
In 2006, the Wisconsin Red Cross named Kinzinger "Hero of the Year" for wrestling a knife-wielding man to the ground and disarming him. The man had cut the throat of a woman on a street in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Recalling the event in an ABC Milwaukee interview, Kinzinger stated "The whole time it was, to me, kind of a done deal that I was going to get stabbed in the process, but I knew that this wasn't something I could wake up to...everyday with that memory that I watched her die." The woman survived. For this act Kinzinger also received the United States Air Force Airman's Medal and the National Guard's Valley Forge Cross for Heroism.
January 30, 2013