In one of the first tangible indications that Illinois Tea Party leaders intend to take an active part in congressional primary elections is the press release below from Rockford Tea Party leader David Hale:
TEA PARTY CONSIDERS 16TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATES
Illinois Tea Party leaders from county and area Tea Parties throughout the proposed 16th Congressional District met in LaSalle on Saturday to consider their choices for 16th District Congressman. The leaders discussed incumbents and prospective candidates and what they’re looking for in a candidate.
It is rumored that current 11th District Congressman Adam Kinzinger may consider a run against longtime Conservative (20 year most conservative Congressional voting record in the lllinois delegation), and very highly-regarded Don Manzullo in the 16th.
Redistricting placed Kinzinger’s home in Chicago’s 2nd District, a seat held by Democrat Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Unlike state representatives who must live in their districts or move their residence within a certain time of being elected, congressmen are not required to live ‘in district’ and it’s not clear whether Kinzinger, if elected, would move to where his constituency lives.
Attendees of the Tea Party meeting majority voted Kinzinger was not their first choice for the 16th District seat.
The turmoil attending the remap has motivated Tea Party organizations to be proactive in considering preferences in the race, not waiting for decisions from the twelve Republican County Chairmen involved. Chris Arndt, Co-Chair of Bureau-LaSalle Tea Party led the meeting and commented: “If anyone is out there and giving serious thought to representing the 16th as a free market, constitutional fiscal conservative, please identify yourself!”
The Democrat-drawn 16th District map greatly alters the old boundaries of the district removing Stephenson and Jo Daviess Counties to the northwest, dipping south and west to include Bureau and LaSalle Counties and southeast to Putnam, Iroquois, Livingston and Ford Counties.
To the northeast, portions of Grundy and Will Counties are included.
Kept within the boundaries of the 16th are Lee, Ogle and parts of Winnebago and Boone Counties.
The new 16th District juts east at its southernmost point to the Indiana line.
The western half of the City of Rockford was “deeded” to the 17th Congressional District which includes the Quad Cities.
The aim of the Democrat redistricting process is to reverse the 2010 election which gave Republicans a 25 seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Democrats are hopeful the new Gerrymandered district map will permit Democrats to win 5 of the 25 needed national congressional seats from Illinois in the 2012 election.
The coalition of 16th Congressional District Tea Parties may be reached at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org