The primary in the 16th Congressional District is a month behind us, but there are still ruffled feathers in Washington. In an incumbent-vs.-incumbent matchup, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Manteno) defeated U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Egan) in the Republican primary. The fact that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) supported Kinzinger, to the tune of more than $100,000, is the issue – a member of leadership contributing to the demise of a sitting member.
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U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Winfield), who was neutral in that race, says the Republican conference will address the question of whether this is acceptable for leaders to do. “That’s a decision we’re going to have to make going forward. I know it’s happened in the past where leaders have gotten involved at different levels. I think it’s something we’re going to have to continue to ask – what the role of leadership should be,” he said. Manzullo has called for Cantor to resign as majority leader for taking sides in an incumbent-vs.-incumbent Republican primary.
Meanwhile, the field is emerging for the replacement Republican nomination in the 13th Congressional District. Jerry Clarke is in. He’s the former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Urbana), whose resignation from the ballot created the vacancy. Clarke is currently the chief of staff for Hultgren, who would not commit support when asked Wednesday. Also interested are Rodney Davis, an aide to U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville), and State Rep. Adam Brown (R-Decatur), who’s backed by U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Peoria). Party bosses will make the decision, with a selection process chaired by the state Republican chairman, who said he does not know how long it will take