From Former Quigley Supporter:
Are Democrats Concerned Sue Rezin’s Candidacy Threatens Lauren Underwood’s Reelection in IL-14 the DCCC is Hyping a Possible Retirement in IL-16?
Throughout the month of August, and particularly in the past week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has been talking up the possibility of the retirement of 5-term Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R, IL-16) which could impact IL-14, and the DCCC started this talk with an August 7 tweet:
The DCCC’s “Republican Retirement Watch List” was launched back in mid February of this year, and none of the 5 Republican Illinois congressmen were on the list.
Of the two IL Republicans on the list now, Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) is a very understandable “vulnerable” addition, given he won his 2018 reelection with just over 2000 votes and the same Democratic candidate who gave Davis the scare last year is seeking the seat again next year.
But Kinzinger’s reelection to a 5th term last year, in spite of the “blue wave” that swept Illinois, was by a comfortable nearly 18.25 percentage points margin which the final IL State Board of Elections totals show and challenges the DCCC assertion Kinzinger is “vulnerable”:
So even if Kinzinger did retire, the demographics of the district would make IL-16 a long-shot Democratic pick-up at best.
Prior to the August 7 addition of Kinzinger to the DCCC’s “watch list”, last Monday, Kinzinger told Crain’s Chicago Business he would definitely seek reelection to IL-16 next year:
Crain’s reporter Greg Hinz is very respected across Illinois and reputable but in the circled portion of the Crain’s story, Hinz openly expressed doubt about Kinzinger seeking reelection and took a “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach.
As the article points out, the Democrats were dismayed on August 5 when the Crain’s story was published and then on the 7th, the DCCC adds Kinzinger to the watch list in spite of the Crain’s article nearly 2 days earlier.
As has been posted here on McHenry County Blog, Kinzinger posted several components for gun legislation he would support in the wake of mass shootings in Gilroy, CA, El Paso, TX, Dayton, OH and Chicago, and in an interview with TMZ last Tuesday, Kinzinger stated he’s changed his mind on background checks and possibly would have voted for H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 background check legislation he voted against earlier this year.
Maybe that change on background checks got people thinking Kinzinger was about to call it quits.
But then yesterday mid-morning Chicago time, the DCCC tweeted this:
So now the Kinzinger retirement watch has gone beyond Democratic wishful thinking or hype and now the DCCC is going to spend some money in a digital ad buy to hope Congressman Kinzinger retires in 2020 instead of running for a 6th term in IL-16 which does not lend itself to be a Democratic pickup in 2020 even as an open seat.
So why do the Democrats want Kinzinger to retire?
ANALYSIS: The Democrats are concerned with Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s reelection bid in IL-14 and in particular the candidacy of State Senator Sue Rezin and since Rezin lives in IL-16 and though it is legal for Rezin to run for Congress in IL-14, an open IL-16 would likely move Rezin’s congressional bid to IL-16 if Kinzinger were to retire, and the Democrats have Governor J.B. Pritzker to thank for their concern for Rezin’s ability to beat Underwood next year.
Towards the end of July, Governor Pritzker vetoed legislation sponsored by Rezin to protect Illinois residents with pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act, as written-up fully in POLITICO Illinois Playbook on August 2nd:
So given the irony of Underwood and Rezin having similar stances to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, Rezin’s record includes alignment with voters in IL-14 and across the country about health care in general, and protection of patients with pre-existing conditions in particular.
Health care, and Underwood’s position on the Affordable Care Act, and in particular pre-existing conditions patient protections is no longer the sole record of the Democratic incumbent in IL-14, and like with Underwood well-documented personal story of her pre-existing condition, Rezin has a personal story that literally hits close to home for her and for many IL-14 families, too.
And while fellow IL-14 candidate Jim Oberweis voted in favor of Rezin’s legislation, Rezin showed on an issue of importance to Illinois voters that in spite being in a super-minority Republican caucus in the state senate, she can move legislation through both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly on major health care legislation.
That is something Underwood has not been able to do in Congress even though her party controls the House.
Unrelated to the late July veto of Rezin’s legislation, Underwood’s congressional staff tweeted the following last Friday concerning health care while Underwood was travelling in Central America:
So that same 5,471,600 Illinoisans Underwood is concerned about are also the target for Rezin’s legislation that was vetoed last month.
Rezin plans to challenge the veto of SB 2026 during the veto session this fall and if the votes in the General Assembly hold true in the fall, the prospects are good to override the governor’s veto, but whether the governor’s veto is overridden or not, Rezin has demonstrated she can get things done in Springfield on significant legislation she sponsored and convinced colleagues across the aisle to support, which is proof to voters she could do the same in Washington, and that is why the Democrats are concerned about Underwood’s reelection..
Rezin’s success on SB 2026 is statesmanship and one can easily see why a Rezin-Underwood General Election is something the Democrats want to avoid, and when the timeline of the governor’s veto in late July, the POLITICO article on August 2nd, and the other dates the DCCC followed to hype a possible Kinzinger retirement in the IL-16 are factored in, the DCCC retirement watch on Kinzinger all falls into place to prevent a Rezin-Underwood General Election match-up.
All of that said, I do believe Kinzinger will seek reelection in IL-16 next year and it will be up to IL-14 Republican primary voters who will match-up against Underwood next year.
- POLITICO Illinois Playbook 8/2/19 Link: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/illinois-playbook/2019/08/02/rezin-pritzker-health-care-on-giving-chicago-the-boot-happy-birthday-mayor-and-barack-obama-464439
- TMZ YouTube Kinzinger 8/6/19 Link: https://youtu.be/eyhP1u5G9Sw
- Crain’s Chicago Business 8/5/19 Link: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/greg-hinz-politics/kinzinger-set-run-us-house-again