Congresswoman Jackie Walorski has represented Indiana’s 2nd congressional district since 2012. During the 2020 election, her fifth consecutive win, Walorski dominated, earning 61.5% of the vote. Now, after Walorksi’s sudden death, Indiana voters will be tasked with finding her replacement in a special election.
Walorski was killed in a two-car crash on Aug. 3rd. The head-on collision occurred after Walorski’s vehicle crossed the centerline, as confirmed by video footage and eyewitness accounts. Walorski’s district director, Zachery Potts, who was driving the vehicle, was killed, as was communications director Emma Thomson. Edith Schmucker, who was driving the other vehicle, also died. The crash occurred after a ribbon cutting ceremony in Elkhart County, Indiana, near Nappanee.
“All occupants of both vehicles were confirmed to have been wearing seatbelts and airbags did deploy,” the local sheriff’s department said. An investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order authorizing the special election to choose Walorski’s replacement. “A caucus of committee members called by the state chair for each major party will determine who will be nominated for the election,” Jacob Burbrink reported for FOX59. “They have until August 26 to make their decisions. Candidates can file a declaration of candidacy with the Indiana Election Division and the chair of the party caucus if they want to run.” Walorski’s current term was set to expire on Jan. 3, 2023.
Walorski Always Had a Mission
Several hundred mourners attended Walorksi’s nearly two-hour funeral service. “Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke about Walorski’s work as a Christian missionary in Romania with her husband, as the director of a local humane society, and as a television news reporter before entering politics,” The Associated Press reported.
“Tell you the truth, Jackie never had a job. She always had a purpose and a mission,” McCarthy said.
Rep. Anne Wagner of Missouri said Walorski was “one of the best.” Wagner met Walorski while the two were living in the same building in Washington, D.C.
“Jackie was a no-nonsense, get-it-done and move-it-or-lose-it woman of strength and intense integrity,” Wagner said.
“Walorski was active on agriculture and food policy in Congress, often working across the aisle on those issues. A co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, she introduced legislation with Democrats to bring back a Nixon-era White House event on food insecurity,” the AP reported. Walorski also introduced legislation to increase the death gratuity paid to families of service members killed on active duty. The legislation would have doubled the gratuity, from $100,000 to $200,000. The bill also introduced a provision that cut against Walorski’s own interests: The bill capped the death benefits for members of Congress at $74,000 – a $100,000 reduction in current benefits.
A Reliable Conservative Voice
Walorski was reliably conservative. For example, she voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); she advocated for the privatization of Social Security; she voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which, like the name suggests, would have lowered tax rates for businesses and individuals; she supported Trump’s 2017 executive order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States; and she regularly voted against legalizing marijuana. Walorski supported a ban on late-term abortions, but she did believe in allowing abortions past 20 weeks in instances of rape.
In all, Walorski’s voting record held a 72% score from Heritage Action for America, which ranks conservatism. By comparison, Sen. Marco Rubio has a 98 percent score, – Walorski was closer to Mitt Romney’s 58%. And of course, Romney has come under fire from constituents lately for not being sufficiently conservative.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Defense Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, he joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. He lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken. Follow him on Twitter @harrison_kass.