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Walorski to run for Indiana 2nd District again

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By TOM COYNE

Associated Press

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 congressional districts.

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 double-digit unemployment.

“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,” Boyer said.

 

Posted 3/23/2011

 

 

 

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