Illinois: First GOPer Lines Up to Take On Halvorson

Posted January 16, 2009 at 5:56pm

Air Force Pilot Adam Kinzinger (R) has announced that he is exploring a bid against freshman Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.).

Kinzinger met with the National Republican Congressional Committee on a trip to Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Additionally, Kinzinger’s campaign also said in a press release that he met with GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) as well as Illinois GOP Reps. Mark Kirk and Peter Roskam.

“Our district and our state is in desperate need of strong, ethical leadership,” Kinzinger said in a statement. “I’m encouraged by the positive reaction I’m getting to a possible candidacy and will continue to explore it aggressively.”

Halvorson won her first term in Congress with 58 percent of the vote, defeating Chicago-area concrete magnate Martin Ozinga (R) in 2008. Republicans view Halvorson as vulnerable, however, mostly because of her ties to embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), who was arrested in December on corruption charges.

What’s more, the district will be an expensive one for both nominees: In 2008, Halvorson and Ozinga spent a combined $4.1 million on the Chicago-area race.