The fight for control of the Republican Party has a new element. Rep. Adam Kinzinger announced he's established a leadership political action committee to counter former President Trump's grip on the party and its funding, the Washington Post reports. The Illinois lawmaker, who voted to impeach Trump, made the announcement Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. The party can return to its traditional values, Kinzinger said, or keep going down the road to autocracy. "This is a time to choose," he said, saying he wants Republicans to "take a look at the last four years, how far we have come in a bad way, how backward looking we are, how much we peddle darkness and division. And that's not the party I ever signed up for. And I think most Republicans didn't sign up for that."
Kinzinger said he's not looking for a leadership post in the party, but he does hope his Country 1st PAC becomes a force. After the backlash he received over his impeachment vote, he doesn't believe his effort will be easy. He expects a primary challenge when he seeks reelection, per the Hill. "Look, it's really difficult," Kinzinger said Sunday. "I mean, all of a sudden imagine everybody that supported you, or so it seems that way, your friends, your family, has turned against you. They think you're selling out." His goal isn't so much restoring traditional conservative Republican values as it is eliminating the conspiracy theories and racism that have found a home in the GOP. "We don’t embrace conspiracy theories to win anymore," he said. "Would we lose the Proud Boys? Maybe. I'm fine with that." (Trump started a leadership PAC, too.)