Illinois’s Primary Includes Congressional Races Too

Photograph by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, left, during a news conference on the payroll tax vote with fellow House Republican freshmen at the Capitol on Dec. 19, 2011.

The high-profile Republican presidential primary isn’t the only election worth tracking today in Illinois. Some congressional primaries merit watching.

The biggest matchup pits a pair of Republican representatives, Donald Manzullo and Adam Kinzinger, in a Republican-leaning district that forms an L-shape outside of metropolitan Chicago, connecting Illinois’s borders with Wisconsin and Indiana. Kinzinger, a 34-year-old freshman, chose to run against Manzullo, a 67-year-old serving his 10th term, after Democrats redrew district lines.

The race has divided Republicans in Washington and Illinois. Majority Leader Eric Cantor supports Kinzinger. Speaker John Boehner has donated to both candidates through his political action committee, including $5,000 to Manzullo just last weekend.

In the 2nd District, which includes part of Chicago and extends south to Kankakee, Democratic Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. is opposed by former Representative Debbie Halvorson, who lost her seat to Kinzinger in 2010.

Democrats will choose nominees to run against Republican Representatives including Joe Walsh, Robert Dold, Judy Biggert and Bobby Schilling, all of whom could face competitive re-election campaigns in the fall. All but Biggert are freshmen.

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