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Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger endorses President Biden in 2024 election

Adam Kinzinger speaks with his hand raised
Jacquelyn Martin
AP file
Adam Kinzinger is a Bloomington-Normal native who attended Illinois State University and still returns to the community for regular visits. He announced Wednesday that he's endorsing President Joe Biden for re-election in 2024.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Bloomington-Normal native, is endorsing President Joe Biden in the 2024 election — “as a conservative.”

Kinzinger served as a member of Congress from 2011 to 2023, representing parts of north central and northeastern Illinois.

While he’s not switching parties, the ex-congressman announced via a video posted on President Joe Biden’s X account Wednesday that he is endorsing the Democratic incumbent because he does not align with Republican nominee Donald Trump’s politics. [X was formerly known as Twitter].

“While I certainly don’t agree with President Biden on everything and I never thought I’d be endorsing a Democrat for president, I know that he will always protect the very thing that makes America the best country in the world: our democracy,” said Kinzinger.

In the video, Kinzinger said he believes former President Trump “poses a direct threat to every fundamental American value.”

“He doesn’t care about our country,” Kinzinger said to the camera. “He doesn’t care about you. He only cares about himself, and he’ll hurt anyone or anything in pursuit of power.”

The former U.S. House member called out Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — not the first time Kinzinger has made this type of comment.

Kinzinger served on an investigative committee into the 2021 attack on the Capitol, and has been vocal about his views that often don’t align with the former president’s opinions. Kinzinger was one of few Republicans who voted to impeach Trump.

After leaving Congress, Kinzinger wrote a memoir called Renegade that follows his time in the military and as a congressman, but largely focuses on his disillusionment with the GOP and his perception of the party's decay since Trump entered its political sphere.

Kinzinger said he identifies as a “Republican moderate.” He chose not to run for re-election in 2023 after the state's new political maps drew him into a primary battle with Republican incumbent Darin LaHood, who is the current representative for the district.

In the years since the Capitol riot, Kinzinger said in his endorsement video that he believes Trump has “become even more dangerous,” adding Trump’s goal is to be a dictator and throw out the Constitution — all of which makes the Illinoisan unable to endorse him as the next U.S. president.

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan was one of the first leading Republicans to endorse Biden. He announced his support for the incumbent in May.

Biden also hired Kinzinger’s former chief of staff, Austin Weatherford, as his national Republican engagement director earlier this month to garner more Republican votes. Weatherford previously told NPR that reaching Republicans is “a priority for the campaign at the highest levels.”

Melissa Ellin is a reporter at WGLT and a Report for America corps member, focused on mental health coverage.