Illinois' 16th Congressional District elections, 2012

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Illinois' 16th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
March 20, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Adam Kinzinger Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Donald A. Manzullo Republican Party
Donald A. Manzullo.jpg

Illinois U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11District 12District 13District 14District 15District 16District 17District 18

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Illinois.png
The 16th Congressional District of Illinois held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Republican Adam Kinzinger won the election.[1]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
December 27, 2011
March 20, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Illinois has a mixed-hybrid primary system. Voters can change parties each year but must declare a party affiliation at the polls. Depending on which party is chosen, the voter will then be counted as registered for that party. Voters may change party affiliation at polls or caucus.

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by February 21. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 9. A "grace period" was also available, allowing voter registration until three days before an election.[2][3]

See also: Illinois elections, 2012

Incumbent: The incumbent in District 16 was Don Manzullo, a Republican first elected in 1992.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. After the 2010 redistricting process, the 16th District covers all of Boone, Bureau, Grundy, Iroquois, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Ogle, Putnam counties and parts of DeKalb, Ford, Stark, Will and Winnebago counties.[4]

No Democratic candidates filed to run, leaving Manzullo to defend his seat in the March 20, 2012 primary election against Adam Kinzinger, a first-term incumbent Republican from Illinois' 11th Congressional District who has opted to run in District 16 as a result of redistricting.

Kinzinger defeated Manzullo in the primary.

Politico rated the 16th District race between Adam Kinzinger and Don Manzullo one of the five ugliest member vs. member battles.[5]


General election candidates

Republican Party Adam KinzingerGreen check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Wanda Rohl

March 20, 2012, primary results

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

No Democratic candidates filed to run.

Republican Party Republican Primary

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, Illinois District 16 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Kinzinger Incumbent 61.8% 181,789
     Democratic Wanda Rohl 38.2% 112,301
Total Votes 294,090
Source: Illinois Board of Elections "2012 General Election Official Vote Totals"

Republican Primary

U.S. House, Illinois District 16 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Kinzinger 53.9% 45,546
Donald Manzullo 46.1% 38,889
Total Votes 84,435

Race background

Manzullo was a 20-year veteran Congressman who had won each of his 9 bids for re-election with over 60% of the vote. Kinzinger was a freshman Representative who was elected in a wave of Tea Party candidates. The Republican primary contest that pits the two against each other became a contest between the old school and the new wave of politics.

Kinzinger was endorsed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Rep. John Shimkus. In a joint statement, the pair identified Kinzinger as "new breed of conservatism" and a key member of their team, giving Kinzinger their "enthusiastic endorsement" and "total support."[9] He's also been backed by two other Republicans: Aaron Schock and Dave Winters. Schock, first elected to the House in 2008, calls Kinzinger a "rising star of the party" and publicly endorsed Kinzinger over Manzullo.[10] Winters, a 17-year veteran of the Illinois House of Representatives has also endorsed Kinzinger over Manzullo. Winters found himself in a similar situation as Manzullo - challenged in a newly drawn district by a young member of his own party - and chose not to run. He explained "I think the idea of having a bright, young conservative congressman is good for the area, and the more we can have people get to know Kinzinger… the better it will be for us."[11]

Manzullo, meanwhile, picked up key endorsements from several of the state's more conservative groups, including the Illinois Tea Party - the president of the Iroquois County TEA Party dubbed him "the true fiscal conservative" in the race and "an ethical man and a passionate conservative who always votes in line with his values."[12] - the Illinois Conservatives[13], Illinois Citizens for Life[14], and Family-PAC Federal, the state's leading pro-family organization.[15] He has also garnered support from the Larry Morrissey, Mayor of Rockford (the new 16th District's largest city). Morrissey, an independent who had never endorsed Manzullo in the past, emphasized Manzullo's consistent advocacy for the region and the city of Rockford. He called the primary election "an important time in our community's history," noting that the recent divisions from redistricting in the region pose a threat to the community's "strength of voice" in Washington, DC and urging voters to elect a candidate who "knows our community."[16]

See also: Redistricting in Illinois

Slow population growth required Illinois to lose one congressional seat following the 2010 census. With Democrats in charge of the House, Senate and governorship, it was easy to pass a map beneficial to their party. According to an analysis by Politico, the new map could cost the GOP up to five U.S. House seats. GOP consultant David From said of the map, “It’s kind of a work of art, in the wrong direction. There’s a lot of creativity.”[17]

Republicans filed suit against the map, but eventually saw it upheld in the courts. A federal court panel agreed with the Republican complaint that the map was "a blatant political move to increase the number of Democratic congressional seats," but said that Republicans "failed to present a workable standard by which to evaluate such claims."[18]

The 16th District was greatly changed during redistricting, losing more than half of its previous area. The old 16th was in the northwest corner of the state while the new is a curving district from Rockford to Bureau County and east to the Indiana border.[19] Fellow Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, who has represented District 11 since 2011, was drawn into the 16th, leading to a primary faceoff between the two incumbents. Kinzinger said he decided to run in the 16th because it was made up of more of his old district than any other.[20]

The new 16th District was composed of the following percentages of voters of the old congressional districts.[21][22]

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Illinois' 16th District became more Republican because of redistricting.[23]

  • 2012: 47D / 53R
  • 2010: 50D / 50R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measures each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Illinois' 16th Congressional District has a PVI of R+4, which is the 196th most Republican district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 51-49 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, George W. Bush (R) won the district 57-43 percent over John Kerry (D).[24]

Kinzinger and Manzullo met in a debate on February 21, 2012, in Watseka, Illinois. The candidates agreed on repealing President Obama's health care reform plan, scaling back the Environmental Protection Agency's regulations on farmers, increasing domestic oil and gas production, dedicating more resources to stopping illegal immigration and fixing a "broken" federal government. The two areas in which the candidates differed the most were how to create new jobs and how to reduce the federal debt.[25][26]

Kinzinger's opening statement:
Manzullo's opening statement:
Kinzinger/Manzullo debate, Part 3:
Kinzinger/Manzullo debate, Part 4: Kinzinger/Manzullo debate, Part 5:

Don Manzullo vs. Adam Kinzinger
Poll Don Manzullo Adam KinzingerUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research
February 6-7, 2012
We Ask America
February 19-20, 2012
We Ask America
March 11-12, 2012
AVERAGES 39.88% 44.08% 16.04% +/-3.59 1,100.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Adam Kinzinger

  • Bureau County
  • Ford County
  • Grundy County
  • Iroquois County
  • LaSalle County
  • Livingston County
  • Putnam County
  • Stark County (Mike Bigger)
  • Will County
  • LaSalle County Sheriff Tom Templeton
  • LaSalle County Treasurer Don Lamps
  • LaSalle County Board Members:
  • Jerry Myers
  • Elmer Walter
  • Charles Bourchsenius
  • Gary Small

Don Manzullo

  • Eagle Forum of Illinois
  • Illinois Federation for Right to Life
  • Illinois Tea Party
  • Illinois Citizens for Life Federal PAC
  • Illinois Conservatives
  • Illinois Family-PAC Federal
  • The Madison Project
  • RedState Editor and CNN political commentator Erick Erickson
  • State Senator Tim Bivins (R-Dixon)
  • State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford)
  • State Senator Christine Johnson (R-Shabbona)
  • Former State Senator Brad Burzynski
  • State Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford)
  • State Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley)
  • Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen
  • Boone County Board Chairman Bob Walberg
  • Ogle County Board Chairman Jim Barnes
  • Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey
  • Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg
  • Machesney Park Mayor Tom Strickland
  • Rochelle Mayor Chet Olson
  • Oregon Mayor Thomas Stone
  • Genoa Mayor Todd Walker
  • Mt. Morris Village President Greg Unger
  • Rockton Mayor Dale Adams
  • Roscoe Mayor Dave Krienke
  • Franklin Grove Mayor Bob Logan
  • Jason Anderson, Director of Economic Development, City of Rochelle
  • Bob Trojan, President of Rockford Linear Acuation
  • Jeffrey J. Kaney, Sr., CEO, Kaney Group, LLC

Donald A. Manzullo voted with the Republican Party 92 percent of the time, which ranked 149 among the 242 House Republican members as of November 2011.[28]Adam Kinzinger voted with the Republican Party 91% of the time, which ranked 174 among the 242 House Republican members in November 2011.[29]

Both candidates served in the U.S. House of Representatives and both, therefore, have voted on the same legislation a number of times. Below is a table that displays the bills and amendments on which Manzullo and Kinzinger cast different votes.[30][31]

   Adam Kinzinger.jpgDonald A. Manzullo.jpg
BillBill TitleDateAdam KinzingerDonald Manzullo
HR 2112Appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, and the Food and Drug AdministrationNov. 17, 2011ApprovedaDid not vote
H Amdt 853Requires Crowdfunding Intermediaries to Disclose Methods of Compensation to InvestorsNov. 3, 2011Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballotApproveda
H J Res 68Authorizing Limited Use of US Armed Forces in LibyaJune 24, 2011ApprovedaProposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
HR 1249Patent Law AmendmentsJune 23, 2011ApprovedaProposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
H Amdt 414Prohibits Usage of Funds in Contravention of the War Powers ResolutionJune 13, 2011Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballotApproveda
H Con Res 51Removing Armed Forces from LibyaJune 3, 2011Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballotApproveda
HR 2017DHS Appropriations Act (2014) ActJune 2, 2011ApprovedaDid not vote
H Amdt 398Prohibiting the Use of Funds for Transportation Security Administration Collective BargainingJune 2, 2011ApprovedaDid not vote
S 990Patriot Act ExtensionMay 26, 2011ApprovedaProposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot
HR 830Terminating the Federal Housing Administration Refinance ProgramMarch 10, 2011ApprovedaDid not vote
H Amdt 155Prohibits Use of Funds for Step Increase for General Schedule EmployeesFeb. 19, 2011Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballotApproveda

Both candidates identified the same five issues on their campaign websites: the economy, spending/fiscal responsibility, health care, energy and immigration. The issues are listed here in the order they appear on their respective websites.[32][33]

Adam Kinzinger

Kinzinger celebrates his primary victory over Don Manzullo on March 20, 2012.

Kinzinger discussed "several things Washington must do in order to help get our economy moving forward."

  • Tackling our debt head on and eliminating unnecessary spending
  • Reducing the size and scope of government and reining in out-of-control regulations
  • Simplifying the tax code
  • Enacting the three pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea
  • Increasing energy production here at home – making out nation energy secure, lowering the cost of gas and creating new domestic jobs

Kinzinger advocated for the expansion of domestic oil production and "aggressively" exploring other energy resources, including wind, nuclear, coal, off-shore oil, natural gas and oil shale in order to "reduce our foreign dependence and stop relying on countries that do not share our national interests."

Fiscal Responsibility
Kinzinger called for "independent" voices to vote against the bank bailout (TARP) and bailing out Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. He believes new spending should be limited to "critical national security and infrastructure needs."

Kinzinger voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. His solution to increasing the number of people with health insurance is lowering costs and lowering the price of premiums by "allowing associations and small businesses to band together, enacting tort reform, permitting Americans to buy insurance across state lines and implementing full Federal tax deductibility for qualified medical expenses."

Kinzinger understands the first step in solving the nation's immigration problem to be securing our borders. He views the National Guard as playing an "important support role" in that process.

Donald Manzullo

Manzullo believed improving the manufacturing sector is the key to reinvigorating the nation's economy and has developed a detailed 10-point American Jobs Agenda that is "focused on creating economic opportunities to put the people or northern Illinois and the rest of American back to work."

  1. Reform the tax code to help U.S. companies create jobs, put Americans back to work.
  2. Level the playing field for American companies doing business in the global marketplace while reforming our export control policies to help U.S. companies sell more goods overseas, create American jobs.
  3. Review and eliminate burdensome and unnecessary government regulations that stifle economic growth and cost American jobs.
  4. Continue to educate fellow Members of Congress on the importance of American manufacturing to our economy through the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus Rep. Manzullo co-founded with Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in 2003.
  5. Reform our government procurement policies and require federal agencies to follow "Buy American" laws to ensure our government is doing business with companies in the United States.
  6. Make health care more affordable and accessible to Americans without a government takeover that would cost millions of jobs, reduce quality and choice and increase our debt for generations to come.
  7. Enact an “all you can create” energy plan that promotes innovation, conservation and responsible production of energy as a way to achieve America’s energy independence and a cleaner, healthier planet because every one cent increase in the price of gasoline removes $1 billion from the U.S. economy.
  8. Get basic infrastructure projects rolling, away from Washington in-fighting.
  9. Consolidate and streamline America’s job training programs to eliminate overhead and deliver more services to those seeking to upgrade their skills in their job search, with a particular focus on helping post- 9/11 veterans find employment.
  10. Secure America’s borders, create mandatory work authorization verification and reduce illegal immigration through interior enforcement.

Manzullo supported the Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He had introduced legislation requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to "pay back what the owe the taxpayer" and to "cut spending on an unnecessary foreign aid program." He advocated making the 2001/2003 tax relief permanent in order to stabilize the tax burden for businesses, simplifying the tax code and making business tax rates more competitive on the global market.

Manzullo voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He advocated the repeal of that legislation and the passing of "smaller, understandable" bills that make incremental changes to our health care system. He outlines key elements of reform:"

  • A. Medical lawsuit reform to reduce costs and discourage unnecessary tests that CBO estimates would save $54 billion in federal spending;
  • B. Allowing individuals to purchase health care insurance across state lines in the search for the best and most affordable plan;
  • C. Allowing the self-employed to purchase health care insurance before paying the Social Security/Medicare payroll (FICA) tax, effectively reducing their premiums by 15 percent;
  • D. Giving individuals the same tax treatment to purchase health insurance as employers;
  • E. Providing more tax incentives to encourage individuals to purchase consumer-driven Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which have reduced health care costs considerably for many Americans;
  • F. Creating refundable tax credits to help low-income American purchase health insurance;
  • G. Enhancing state high-risk pools to provide more coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions;
  • H. Eliminating yearly and lifetime caps on health insurance payments;
  • I. Allowing dependent young adults to remain on their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26;
  • J. Preserving high-quality health care through America ’s community health centers so that low-income individuals do not visit the hospital emergency room for routine outpatient care."

Manzullo advocated an "all you can create" energy strategy that will promote "innovation, conservation and responsible production of energy as a way to decrease our dependence upon unstable foreign sources of energy." He believes in the "environmentally-sound" extraction of oil and gas, expansion of the nation's nuclear energy capacity and open Yucca Mountain in Nevada to "safely dispose of spend nuclear fuel." He does not support taxpayer-funded subsidies to develop any source of energy.

Manzullo had introduced legislation to provide a tax deduction for energy-intensive businesses "to better insulate their facilities" and is opposed to cap and trade.

Manzullo opposed "all forms of amnesty" including the expansion of current visa policies. He advocated strengthening our border security and interior enforcement first and opposes "incentives, such as the so-called DREAM Act, to induce foreign residents to enter and stay in America illegally."

Adam Kinzinger
Kinzinger for Congress Bio Ad: "New Breed of Conservatives"

Kinzinger for Congress "New Way" ad

Kinzinger for Congress "Our Debt" Ad

Kinzinger for Congress "Lost his Way" ad

Kinzinger for Congress "About our Future" Ad

Donald Manzullo
Don Manzullo - Fighting for the American Dream

Don't Read His Lips, Read His Record

Not Much Different than a Democrat

Watch this!

2010: Kinzinger

On November 2, 2010, Kinzinger won election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Deborah L. Halvorson (D) in the general election.[34]

U.S. House, Illinois District 11 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Kinzinger 57.3% 129,108
     Democratic Deborah L. Halvorson Incumbent 42.7% 96,019
Total Votes 225,127

2010: Manzullo

On November 2, 2010, Don Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated George W. Gaulrapp (D) and Terry G. Campbell (G) in the general election.[35]

U.S. House, Illinois District 16, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDonald A. Manzullo Incumbent 65% 138,299
     Democratic Georgia W. Gaulrapp 31% 66,037
     Green Terry G. Campbell 4% 8,425
Total Votes 212,761



On November 4, 2008, Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Robert Abboud and Scott Summers in the general election.[36]


On November 7, 2006, Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Richard D. Auman in the general election.[37]


On November 2, 2004, Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated John H. Kutsch in the general election.[38]


On November 5, 2002, Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated John H. Kutsch in the general election.[39]


On November 7, 2000, Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Charles W. Hendrickson in the general election.[40]


On November 3, 1998, Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He ran unopposed in the general election.[41]


On November 7, 1996, Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Catherine M. Lee in the general election.[42]


On November 7, 1994, Manzullo won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Pete Sullivan in the general election.[43]

Adam Kinzinger

Adam Kinzinger (2012)[44] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-Primary[45]March 8, 2012$651,089.28$243,674.14$(579,956.92)$314,806.50
April Quarterly[46]April 13, 2012$314,806.50$264,242.08$(351,750.94)$227,297.64
Running totals

See also

External links


  1. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Illinois"
  2. Illinois Board of Elections, "2012 Election Calendar," accessed July 21, 2012
  3. Illinois Board of Elections, "Registering to Vote in Illinois," accessed July 21, 2012
  4. June 2011 Illinois Redistricting, "Map" accessed July 23, 2012
  5. Politico, "Congress 2012: The 5 ugliest member vs. member battles" accessed April 18, 2012
  6. Daily Herald "Manzullo to run in redrawn 16th District" accessed December 15, 2011
  7. ABC News 7 "Election Results Primary 2012" accessed March 20, 2012
  8. Illinois State Board of Elections "Candidate List" accessed December 27, 2011
  9., "Cantor endorses Kinzinger over Manzullo," March 8, 2012
  10. The Journal Star, "Schock continues to back Romney for GOP nomination," January 17, 2012
  11. Rockford Register Star, "Chuck Sweeny: Dave Winters backs Don Manzullo's opponent," January 30, 2012
  12. Morris Daily Herals," Manzullo earns Illinois Tea Party endorsement," February 7, 2012 (dead link)
  13. Illinois Conservatives: Endorsed candidates," accessed February 17, 2012
  14. Illinois Review, "Illinois citizens for life endorses Manzullo," January 26, 2012
  15. Family PAC Federal, "Endorsements," accessed February 17, 2012
  16., "Rockford Mayor Larry Morrisey endorses Rep. Don Manzullo," February 13, 2012
  17. Politico, "Illinois Republicans brace for bloodbath," June 2, 2011
  18. BusinessWeek, "Illinois Republicans Lose Challenge to New Congressional Map," December 16, 2011
  19. Don Manzullo for Congress, "Manzullo to run for re-election in new 16th District — Bureau County Republican," January 4, 2012
  20. WJBC, "Kinzinger to run in 16th District," December 15, 2011
  21. Moonshadow Mobile's CensusViewer, "Illinois' congressional districts 2001-2011 comparison"
  22. Labels & Lists, "VoterMapping software voter counts"
  23. "2011 Redistricting and 2012 Elections in Illinois," September 2012
  24. Cook Political Report, "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" accessed October 2012
  25. The Daily Journal, "Iroquois County: Manzullo, Kinzinger take aim in debate," February 22, 2012 (dead link)
  26. Rockford Register Star, "Chuck Sweeney: Don Manzullo and Adam Kinzinger debate," February 22, 2012
  27. Chicago Tribune, "For the Republicans: Kinzinger," February 24, 2012
  28. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  29. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party"
  30. U.S. House of Representatives Clerk, 112th Congress - 1st session (2011) roll call votes," accessed February 10, 2012
  31. U.S. House of Representatives Clerk, 112th Congress - 2nd session (2012) roll call votes," accessed February 10, 2012
  32., "Issues," accessed March 2, 2012
  33., "Solutions," accessed March 2, 2012
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004"
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002"
  40. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000"
  41. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998"
  42. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1996"
  43. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994"
  44. FEC Reports, "Adam Kinzinger Summary Reports" accessed July 13, 2012
  45. FEC Reports, "Pre Primary" accessed July 13, 2012
  46. FEC Reports, "April Quarterly" accessed July 13, 2012