In Illinois’ reliably Republican 16th Congressional District, conservative activist Jim Marter of Kendall County is challenging third term Congressman Adam Kinzinger for the Republican Party’s nomination to Congress in 2018. Running for the nomination as a conservative alternative to Kinzinger, Marter bills himself as a limited government patriot, ready to take a pro-America agenda to Capitol Hill.
Marter’s candidacy represents the latest manifestation of the dissatisfaction many conservatives in the 16th District have felt towards Kinzinger’s actions in Congress. As his reputation has soured in recent years, Kinzinger has joined a chorus of establishment politicians in sabotaging the conservative agenda he was elected to enact. Last year, following the Trump Administration’s repeal of DACA, Kinzinger and 33 other Congressmen dubbed the Gang of 34, signed a letter addressed to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan demanding immediate legislative action be taken to grant amnesty to the 800,000 illegal aliens previously protected under President Obama’s unlawful executive order.
In addition to signing the Gang of 34’s infamous pro-amnesty letter, Kinzinger led a group of representatives in penning a letter to Acting ATF Director Thomas E. Brandon, calling for a review on the legality of bump stocks, despite a 2010 review indicating the mechanism is fully legal under the National Firearms Act. The letter, which came following October 2017’s Las Vegas massacre, called upon the ATF to take actions towards implementing ‘common sense gun control,’ echoing years of cries from Democrats encouraging steps towards attacking Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights.
Currently, Kinzinger has a ‘Liberty Score’ of only 46% from Conservative Review, the lowest of any sitting Republican Member of Congress. The ‘Liberty Score’ metric, often considered the gold standard of conservative ratings, judged 40 of Kinzinger’s major votes in Congress, classifying 33 of them as ‘liberal,’ and only 17 as ‘conservative.’
Kinzinger’s challenger, Jim Marter, stands strongly opposed to the Congressman’s legislative history, and represents just one of the many conservative candidates nationwide emerging to challenge politicians who have so quickly turned on their base. Chairman of the Kendall County Republican Party and a member of Illinois Conservatives United, Marter is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, as well as increased security along America’s borders, two issues which Kinzinger has taken quite lightly in recent months. When reached for comment on Kinzinger’s Gang of 34 membership, Marter minced no words on the contents of Kinzinger’s pro-amnesty letter as he told Politics Elections: ‘The letter starts with a premise, not backed by any facts, and bears little resemblance to the illegal immigration problem in America.’
Marter went on to detail his stance on illegal immigration and border security, calling for an end to chain migration, and outlining his support for ‘Ten Steps to Fix the Broken Immigration Enforcement System,’ a plan put forward by Numbers USA, the organization which first published the Gang of 34’s letter to Paul Ryan.
Building his career outside of politics, Marter has spent 32 years in the business realm, building companies and managing multi-million dollar projects ranging from electronics to agriculture. On his campaign website, he includes a quote attributed to President Thomas Jefferson, highlighting his support for limited government. ‘I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.’