Freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger defeated longtime [Illinois] Rep. Don Manzullo in the first Member-vs.-Member GOP primary of 2012. Kinzinger led 56 percent to 44 percent when the Associated Press called the race just after 11 p.m. EST.

Although more of Manzullo’s current territory lies in the redrawn 16th district, Republicans initially thought Kinzinger had an edge. But in the final weeks of their contest, Republicans saw Kinzinger’s campaign falter, and they gave the advantage to Manzullo heading into the primary.

Kinzinger’s victory is likely to stun many GOP operatives and Capitol Hill aides who dismissed the Air Force Reserve pilot and Cantor’s involvement in his race.

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