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Local Editorials

Endorsement: Kinzinger in 16th Congressional District

Stay informed with Shaw Local's Election Central. Research your ballot, where the candidates stand on the issues and set yourself up with a reminder to vote.

Adam Kinzinger is seeking a sixth term in Congress, his fifth representing the 16th Congressional District, which includes all or parts of La Salle, Bureau, Grundy, Will, DeKalb, Lee, Ogle, Putnam and Livingston counties.

The Channahon Republican is a lieutenant colonel with the Wisconsin Air National Guard and veteran of Afghan and Iraqi combat operations. He is a supporter of President Donald Trump’s, however, he has publicly disagreed with the president on his use of Twitter, calling on the president to redact a post referencing “lynching” remarks. He also criticized the president for removing U.S. troops from Syria in 2019.

Kinzinger is challenged by Democrat Dani Brzozowski, of La Salle, a Purdue graduate who has worked predominantly in nonprofits and has owned a small business.

While Brzozowski is energetic and her outreach to district residents during her campaign is commendable, we believe Kinzinger’s beliefs and views better align with the district. With a background in politics, also serving as the La Salle County Democratic chairwoman, she’s demonstrated the strongest campaign of any of Kinzinger’s opponents, utilizing several means to start a conversation with voters and speaking directly about important issues.

Kinzinger has built influence in Washington, D.C., and while it’s not a favorite topic among voters and politicians, Kinzinger said, foreign policy is an important piece of Congress’ work.

And Kinzinger brings a unique perspective to the table with his service in the Air National Guard and his work on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“If we’re not writing the rules of the road for the world, China and Russia … chaos will ensue. … Lots of people don’t like to talk foreign policy, and we should. It’s good for the economics of the district and safety and future of this country.”

Both candidates share worry over issues, such as social unrest, splitting on how to handle police reform. Brzozowski favors more resources in the community that allow law enforcement to do their jobs effectively and banning chokeholds and ending qualified immunity, which prevents officers from being named in civil suits as long as they don’t violate reasonable constitutional rights.

Kinzinger opposes defunding of the police, instead advocating for a greater use of body cameras and making sure the right people are getting recruited to become police officers.

In regard to health care, Kinzinger believes health care will naturally become more affordable and better as a result of technology. He advocated for insurance between jobs to be portable.

Brzozowski was asked about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and said she was raised understanding that the money paid by taxes helps create a safety net.

“For so many families, the Affordable Care Act has been just that,” Brzozowski said. “Prior to that, more than 60,000 people in our district didn’t have insurance. That number dropped to between 35,000 and 36,000. That’s 25,000 people who have insurance now.”

Constituent accessibility to Kinzinger was a criticism raised during his last campaign, and echoes of that complaint surfaced again this campaign season. When Shaw Media endorsed Kinzinger in 2018, we urged him and his staff to open more lines of communication with constituents, something we continue to push.

While Kinzinger has voted in line with the president the majority of the time, he has a strong grasp of how this country is fragmented and has not shied away from criticizing Trump. He also was the first Republican to call on leaders to denounce the right-wing conspiracy group QAnon.

We believe Kinzinger’s positions best match with the views of the 16th District. He is endorsed.

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