Jackie Walorski

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In 2009, Walorski announced her candidacy to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Representative Joe Donnelly in Indiana's 2nd congressional district , and she won the 2010 Republican primary, [18] with 61% of the votes, [19] defeating Martin Dolan, Jack Jordan, and Tony Zirkle. [20] She lost 48%–47% in the general election. [21]

Within months of the general election, Walorski announced her plan to contest the seat again in 2012. During the Indiana legislature's 2011–2013 legislative session, the predominantly Republican Indiana House and Senate redrew Indiana's congressional districts. After redistricting, the newly drawn 2nd district included all of Elkhart County, Walorski's home county, and the demographics of the new district included more registered Republican voters. [22] Had the district existed with these lines in 2008, Barack Obama would have won it by just 0.3 percentage points, 49.6% to John McCain's 49.3%. [23] In contrast, he won the old 2nd with 54% of the vote. [24]

Donnelly decided not to seek reelection, opting instead to run for the U.S. Senate. [25] Walorski won the 2012 primary election with 73% of the vote, winning all ten counties in the 2nd District. [26] [ failed verification ] In the general election, she faced Libertarian nominee Joe Ruiz of Mishawaka and Democratic nominee Brendan Mullen of Granger, an Iraq War veteran.[ citation needed ] Walorski defeated Mullen 49%–48%, [27] likely helped by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carrying her district with 56% of the vote. [28] At the same time, Donnelly was elected to the Senate. [29]

In 2014, while serving on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Walorski was a leading voice pushing for the resignation of Eric Shinseki as Secretary of Veterans Affairs due to the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014. [30]

Walorski voted against the second impeachment of Donald Trump [31] and voted to object to the certification of the 2020 United States presidential election. [32] [33]

In 2019, Walorski was named the ranking member on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support. [34] In 2020, she was appointed to serve on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. [35] In 2021, she became the ranking member on the House Ethics Committee. [36]

Walorski won the uncontested 2022 Republican primary for the 2nd district. [37]

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Defense

On May 25, 2018, Walorski introduced legislation to double the death gratuity the federal government pays to the families of service members killed on active duty. The legislation would have increased the death gratuity from $100,000 to $200,000. Under the bill, the government would have paid at least 60% of the benefit to the surviving spouse, and service members could have chosen how to disburse the remaining 40%. The bill also would have capped Congress members' death benefits at $74,000. The cap would have resulted in a payment of about $100,000 less than would be paid under the current system. [41]

Health care

Walorski voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. [42]

Economy

Walorski advocated privatizing Social Security. In March 2010, she said, "I think the one thing we have to do is the thing that Bush actually tried to do a couple years ago, which is privatize Social Security and allow people to invest in their own retirement." [43]

Walorski voted for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. [44]

In 2018, Walorski said she opposed the Trump tariffs on goods imported from U.S. allies. She said that such duties threaten U.S. businesses and workers. These include a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum. Walorski also asked that the system for granting exclusions for certain products be accelerated. [45]

Abortion

In 2013, Walorski expressed support for a ban on late-term abortions. [46]

In 2015, Walorski raised objections to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill banning late termination of pregnancy, an abortion procedure given beyond 20 weeks into a pregnancy. She had supported the 2013 version, [46] [47] but removed her name from the 2015 House bill in mid-January. The 2015 bill had an exemption for those seeking an abortion due to rape, but required that the person seeking the exemption report the rape to the police past 20 weeks. [48] House Republicans canceled a planned vote shortly afterward due to opposition from Walorski and Representative Renee Ellmers, and other Republicans expressing concerns about the bill. [49] A modified version of the bill was proposed in 2015, with modifications to remove the requirement to report a rape to the police. This version instead allowed abortions past 20 weeks in cases of rape, with the requirement that those pregnant due to rape would need to seek medical care or counseling before getting an abortion. Walorski voted for this version of the House bill in May. [50] [51] Walorski would also go on to vote for the 2017 version of the bill. [52] [53]

In October 2017, Walorski asked the Indiana State Department of Health to deny an application to open an abortion clinic in South Bend, saying the clinic would undermine efforts to reduce the number of abortions in the area. [54]

Interest group ratings

Walorski was given a "D" rating in 2016 from marijuana legalization advocacy group NORML for her voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. [55]

Walorski had a 63% rating from Heritage Action for America based on her conservative voting record. [56]

Immigration

Walorski supported Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, saying she believed it would "allow our national security officials to examine the vetting process and strengthen safeguards to prevent terrorists from entering our homeland." [57]

Texas v. Pennsylvania

In December 2020, Walorski was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania , a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the 2020 presidential election, in which Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump. [58] The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state. [59] [60] [61]

Personal life

In 1995, Walorski married Dean Swihart, a schoolteacher in Mishawaka. [17] She resided in Jamestown, an unincorporated suburban community west of Elkhart, and was a member of South Gate Church, an Assemblies of God megachurch in South Bend. [62]

Death

On August 3, 2022, four people, including Walorski, were killed in a head-on collision between two cars near Nappanee, Indiana. The driver of the other vehicle and the two other people in Walorski's vehicle also died: her communications director, Emma Thomson, and her district director, Zachery Potts. [63] Walorski was returning from a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Claypool, Indiana. [64] [65] It was initially reported that a northbound vehicle on State Road 19 veered left and collided head-on with Walorski's vehicle, which was southbound, but the police later retracted that statement, and said that Walorski's northbound car, driven by Potts, had crossed the center line for unknown reasons. [66] [67] The collision occurred near the intersection with State Road 119. [68] [69] [70]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered the flags around the U.S. Capitol Building to be flown at half-staff on the day of death and the day after in her honor. [71] Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, whose hometown of South Bend is in Walorski's district, posted condolences on Twitter, saying that "she was always prepared to work together where there was common ground". [72] Former President Donald Trump eulogized her on his Truth Social platform, and President Joe Biden issued a statement saying that she was "respected by members of both parties" and offering condolences to the victims' families. [71] [73] On August 10, the Indiana congressional delegation introduced a resolution to name the Department of Veteran Affairs Clinic in Mishawaka the Jackie Walorski VA Clinic. [64]

Walorski's funeral was held on August 11 at Granger Community Church in Granger, Indiana, and she was buried at Southlawn Cemetery in South Bend. [74]

Honors

Walorski was awarded the following foreign honor:

Electoral history

Jackie Walorski
Jackie Walorski 117th Congress portrait.jpg
Official portrait, 2020
Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee
In office
January 3, 2021 August 3, 2022
Indiana House of Representatives, 21st District, 2004 [77]
PartyCandidateVotes%
Republican Jackie Walorski13,74564%
Democratic Carl H. Kaser7,72836%
Indiana House of Representatives, 21st District, 2006 [78]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jackie Walorski8,89953%
Democratic Robert Kovach7,98047%
Turnout 16,879
Republican hold Swing
Indiana House of Representatives, 21st District, 2008 [79]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jackie Walorski17,60599%
N/A Clyde James (Write-in)2321%
Turnout 17,837
Republican hold Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2010 [80]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic Joe Donnelly (incumbent)91,34148%
Republican Jackie Walorski88,80347%
Libertarian Mark Vogel9,4475%
Turnout 189,59141%
Democratic hold Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2012 [81]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jackie Walorski134,03349%
Democratic Brendan Mullen130,11348%
Libertarian Joe Ruiz9,3263%
N/A Kenneth R. Luntz, Jr. (Write-in)30%
Turnout 273,47556%
Republican gain from Democratic Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2014 [81]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jackie Walorski (incumbent)85,11959%
Democratic Joe Bock 55,33138%
Libertarian Jeff Petermann3,9923%
Turnout 144,442
Republican hold Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2016 [81]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jackie Walorski (incumbent)164,35559%
Democratic Lynn Coleman102,40137%
Libertarian Ron Cenkush10,6014%
Turnout 277,357
Republican hold Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2018 [81]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jackie Walorski (incumbent)125,49955%
Democratic Mel Hall103,36345%
No partyRichard Wolf (Write-in)270%
Turnout 228,889
Republican hold Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2020 [82]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Republican Jackie Walorski (incumbent)183,60161.5
Democratic Pat Hackett114,96738.5
Turnout 298,568
Republican hold Swing

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Indiana House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 21st district

2005–2010
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 2nd congressional district

2013–2022
Succeeded by
TBD