Adam Kinzinger says he will focus on combating right-wing extremism after leaving Congress

Republican Rep Adam Kinzinger announced he will spend his post-congressional career combating right-wing extremism rather than run for governor or for Senate in Illinois.

Mr Kinzinger had announced in October that he would not seek re-election after redistricting would have put him in a tough primary against fellow Republican Rep Darin LaHood.

The Illinois Republican was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former president Donald Trump after the deadly insurrection on 6 January.

“Some say it’s time to move on from January 6, but we can’t move on without addressing what happened or by pretending it never happened,” he said in a video that fighting the most extremist elements. “That starts by admitting the facts: The 2020 election was not stolen. Joe Biden won and Donald Trump lost. We have to admit it. But the leadership of the Republican Party won’t.”

Mr Kinzinger, a US military veteran, is one of two Republicans, along with vice chairwoman Rep Liz Cheney, who sits on the committee investigating the deadly insurrection.

“This time last year, I hoped victory would come in a matter of months,” he said. “Now, I see it will take years.”

In response, Mr Kinzinger said that he would go from serving solely his district to fighting right-wing extremism full-time.

“When I took a stand against the forces and the failures that gave us January 6, the response I received was overwhelming,” he said, noting how he heard from people of all political persuasions. “They don’t agree on everything – actually they don’t agree on most things – but after January 6, they all know this: that we can do better.”

Mr Kinzinger decried “the political class” and cable television news – despite the fact he’s become a fixture on television news in recent months – who sow division.

“What we do in the days ahead will determine whether America moves away from January 6, or moves towards an even bigger crisis,” he said. “It matters how we vote, not just in the big elections but in the primaries too. A lot of people think their vote won’t make a difference. Believe me, it does.”

Douglas Mateo

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