Republican Adam Kinzinger endorses Democrats in key swing-state races

(WASHINGTON) — Retiring Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois on Tuesday announced a slate of midterm endorsements, which include six Democrats vying for governor or secretary of state in critical southeastern and midwestern swing states.

Through his newly-formed political action committee, the House Jan. 6 committee member who voted to impeach Donald Trump rolled out support for Democratic secretary of state candidates in Arizona, Nevada, Michigan and Minnesota, with notable backing for Republican Brad Raffensberger of Georgia, the state’s current top elections official who upheld the results of the 2020 election despite urging from Trump to overturn them. Kinzinger is also supporting Democrats for governor in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Republicans and Independents who have campaigned on the legitimacy of the 2020 election have also made the list of Kinzinger endorsements through his “Country 1st” PAC, first unveiled in January 2021.

The support from Kinzinger, of the most forward facing critics of the former president, comes just days after another GOP Jan. 6 committee member, Rep. Liz Cheney, told an Arizona audience she would vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs against an election-denying GOP nominee Kari Lake if she lived in the state.

“So, for almost 40 years now, I’ve been voting Republican. I don’t know that I have ever voted for a Democrat — but if I lived in Arizona now, I absolutely would. And for governor and for secretary of state,” Cheney said during a question-and-answer session at the McCain Institute at Arizona State University. “We cannot be in a position where we elect people who will not fundamentally uphold the sanctity of elections.”

Cheney is also off the ballot in the upcoming midterm elections, following her primary defeat from Trump-backed Harriet Hageman.

Hobbs also made Kinzinger’s midterm endorsements, which also includes Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat running for governor against election-denying state senator Doug Mastriano.

He also endorsed an independent House candidate running against far-right GOP Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona who was intimately involved in efforts to challenge the electoral count on Jan. 6.

A number of federal candidates also made Kinzinger’s endorsement list: Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is facing a Trump-backed challenge in her reelection contest and Evan McMullin, an independent who is challenging Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

In an interview with Politico, Kinzinger said he chose 2022 endorsements partly based on where there are “going to be positions that, frankly, can be bulwarks to defend against a real constitutional crisis in 2024.”

“A badly-placed, bad faith secretary of state can really throw the whole country into chaos,” he said.

ABC News’ Libby Cathey contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.