On Balance: Republican Catalina Lauf says Trump endorsement most valuable currency in GOP

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation Now) — Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), who sits on the Jan. 6 commission, is now facing a primary challenge from Trump-era Department of Commerce appointee Catalina Lauf.

Lauf on Wednesday picked up an endorsement from Congressman Madison Cawthorn, a Trump loyalist. Lauf said she was proud to have Cawthorn’s endorsement.

“The way that this has been built in terms of the establishment, the swamp, it’s built to preserve incumbents like Adam Kinzinger,” Lauf said. “But unfortunately, unfortunate to his campaign, is that he has not had any infrastructure here on the ground since his first election.”

Following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, Kinzinger has been a vocal proponent of investigating the events of that day.

“Adam Kinzinger crying about January 6 is nothing but political theater,” said Lauf. “Just like everything else in Washington, D.C. Clearly, clearly, all of us can agree what happened on January 6 was awful.”

While Kinzginer is not likely to pick up an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, Lauf is hopeful that she’ll get one.

“Having [Trump’s] endorsement is an honor and it is still the most valuable currency today in Republican politics,” said Lauf. “It all comes down to the candidate and electability.”

Lauf is one of at least six Republicans who’ve pledged to run against Kinzinger in 2022. The others are James Marter, Jack Lombardi, eresa Pfaff, Geno Young and Leona Di Amore, according to the Daily Herald.

Despite the crowded field and pressure from Trump supporters, Kinzinger has raised the most money through June, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The FEC shows the five-time incumbent with $1.9 million raised in the first half of 2021. Lauf has raised $356,000.

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