SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Former Republican state Rep. Jackie Walorski hit the
road Tuesday to begin campaigning for the 2nd Congressional District seat
less than five months after losing to incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly by
about 2,500 votes.
“I know it’s early but I’ve already been up and down the district listening
to what voters are saying and this gives us the chance to raise money to
compete and sign up volunteers,” Walorski said by cell phone as she traveled
northern Indiana from Knox to Rochester.
Donnelly, who has not announced whether he will seek a fourth term, has been
mentioned as a possible candidate for governor or senator. Donnelly, a Blue
Dog Democrat, has said he’ll wait to see how the congressional district
looks after redistricting before deciding what to do.
Donnelly’s spokeswoman, Elizabeth Shappell, said Tuesday that Donnelly is
busy doing the work of Congress.
“He is focused on what matters most to Hoosiers: getting our friends and
neighbors back to work. The politics will take care of itself,” she said.
The district has a history as a swing district, although political experts
have described it as leaning Democratic. That could change after the
Republican-controlled Indiana General Assembly redistricts the state’s nine
Walorski said she wasn’t swayed in announcing early by the fact Donnelly may
be considering running for another office or by redistricting, saying she
has no control over either.
“A tough district and a tough run did not send me away from that district. I
actually want to represent these people. I want to bring leadership to the
2nd District,” she said.
The tea party favorite said her focus will be on the economy, pointing to
the fact that many of the counties in northern Indiana are still facing
“I’m running because of the economy and because not many things changing,”
she said. “This economy has got to change. We’ve got to create jobs.”
Monica Boyer of Kosciusko County Silent No More, a northern Indiana tea
party group, said she is pleased that Walorski is running, but said she’s
concerned the early announcement could hurt Walorski’s campaign. She said
many tea party supporters are focusing their efforts on helping State
Treasurer Richard Mourdock defeat six-term U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar for the
Republican nomination in next year’s primary.
“I can’t imagine how she will keep the momentum she needs. I could be wrong
on that. I just know being on the ground floor here working on this
conservative Senate race that it’s very difficult to keep the momentum,”