Jackie Walorski

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Jackie Walorski
Jackie Walorski, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 2nd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Joe Donnelly
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 21st district
In office
January 1, 2005 – November 16, 2010
Preceded by Richard Mangus
Succeeded by Timothy Wesco
Personal details
Born (1963-08-13) August 13, 1963 (age 55)[1]
South Bend, Indiana
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Dean Swihart
Residence Jimtown, Indiana
Alma mater Liberty Baptist College
Taylor University (B.A.)
Occupation Journalist
Religion Assemblies of God
Website Representative Jackie Walorski

Jackie Walorski (born August 13, 1963) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Indiana's 2nd congressional district since 2013. She is a member of the Republican Party, and she was a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing Indiana's 21st district, from 2005 to 2010. In 2010, Walorski won the Republican nomination for Indiana's 2nd congressional district, but narrowly lost in the general election to Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly. In 2012, Walorski went on to win the open seat.

Early life, education, and career

Born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, Walorski grew up with her two older brothers in the Gilmer Park neighborhood of South Bend. Her mother, Martha C. (née Martin), worked as a meat cutter at a local grocery store, and her father, Raymond B. Walorski, worked as a firefighter and owned an appliance store.[2][3] She has Polish and German ancestry.[4] As a child, she attended Hay Elementary School and graduated from Riley High School in 1981.[2] She then attended Liberty Baptist College from 1981 to 1983, and graduated from Taylor University, receiving her B.A. in Communications and Public Administration in 1985.[5]

Walorski began her career as a television reporter for WSBT-TV, a CBS affiliate in South Bend, from 1985 to 1989, and was the executive director of the St. Joseph County Humane Society from 1989 to 1991.[6] Walorski was appointed as the director of institutional advancement at Ancilla College in 1991, a position she held until she was appointed as the director of membership at the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce in 1996.[5] She later worked as the director of annual giving at Indiana University South Bend from 1997 to 1999.[7] Walorski moved to Romania in 2000 and founded Impact International; a foundation to provide medical supplies and attention to impoverished children.[8] Walorski also did Christian missionary work in Romania before returning to the U.S. in 2004.[9]

Indiana House of Representatives


In 2004, Walorski ran for a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives after incumbent Republican State Representative Richard Mangus of decided to retire. She ran for Indiana's 21st District, a district which represented the suburban area between South Bend and Elkhart. Walorski defeated Democrat Carl H. Kaser 64%–36%.[10] In 2006, she won a second term with 53% of the vote.[11] In 2008, she won a third term unopposed.[12]


During her tenure in the Indiana House, Walorski was a sponsor of Indiana's Voter ID law, requiring voters to present Government issued identification during in person voting.[7] The Voter ID law led to many lawsuits and was brought before the Supreme Court, where the law was upheld in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, and is cited as helping the expansion of Voter ID laws in other states.[13]

Walorski has been criticized for missing a committee vote and the opportunity for stopping the Daylight Saving Time bill from passing out of committee, even though that bill died on the House floor.[14][15] After a different bill passed introducing DST, she authored and introduced a bill to rescind DST, a measure that ended up dying.[15]

Walorski authored legislation combating identity theft, including in 2006 when she sponsored a bill requiring companies to notify customers who are Indiana residents, of any security breaches that could cause identity theft, identity deception or fraud, and making it a Class C felony and imposing a $50,000 fine on anyone who has the identities of over 100 persons.[16] With Walorski saying that "Identity theft is the most rapidly growing crime in the United States. We need to find a solution to this problem before it gets any bigger in Indiana."[17]

Committee assignments

Walorski became active in the caucus and was appointed as Assistant Floor Leader. She served on the Family, Children, & Human Affairs and the Public Policy committees.[18]

U.S. House of Representatives



On January 31, 2009, Walorski formally announced her bid to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Joe Donnelly in Indiana's 2nd congressional district. Walorski won the Republican primary on May 4, 2010[19] with 61% of the votes,[20] defeating opponents Martin Dolan, Jack Jordan, and Tony Zirkle.[21] She was defeated, 48%–47% on November 2, 2010 by Donnelly.[22]


On March 22, 2011, Walorski announced that she would run for Indiana's 2nd Congressional District again. Over 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 Elkhart County, Walorski's home county, and the demographics of the new district included more registered Republican voters. [23]

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly decided not to seek re-election, opting instead to run for the U.S. Senate.[24] Walorski ran against Libertarian candidate Joe Ruiz of Mishawaka[25] and Democratic candidate Brendan Mullen of Granger, an Iraq War veteran.[26]

On May 8, 2012, Walorski easily won the primary election with 73% of the vote, winning all 10 counties in the 2nd District.[27][28][29][30] Many articles have been written about Walorski's role as a woman running for Congress.[31]

Walorski defeated Mullen 49%–48%.[32] She took office on January 3, 2013. At the same time, Donnelly was elected to the Senate.[33]


Walorski is a strong supporter of a balanced budget amendment and has 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.” She has received endorsements from the National Federation of Small Business and the U.S. and Indiana chambers of commerce [34]

Walorski voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.[35]

In 2015, Walorski rejected the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," a bill banning Late termination of pregnancy or late-term abortions, the highly controversial abortion procedure given beyond 20 weeks into a pregnancy.[36] In 2013, Walorski said she would support a ban on late-term abortions.[37]

Committee assignments

Personal life

In 1995, Walorski married her husband, Dean Swihart, a schoolteacher in Mishawaka.[18] She resides in Jimtown, an unincorporated suburban community west of Elkhart, and is a member of Hope City Church (formerly Calvary Temple and Southgate Church), an Assemblies of God megachurch in South Bend.[38]

Electoral history

Indiana House of Representatives, 21st District, 2004 [39]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jackie Walorski 13,745 64%
Democratic Carl H. Kaser 7,728 36%
Turnout 21,437
Republican hold Swing
Indiana House of Representatives, 21st District, 2006 [40]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jackie Walorski 8,899 53%
Democratic Robert Kovach 7,980 47%
Turnout 16,879
Republican hold Swing
Indiana House of Representatives, 21st District, 2008 [41]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jackie Walorski 17,605 99%
N/A Clyde James (Write-in) 232 1%
Turnout 17,837
Republican hold Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2010 [42]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Joe Donnelly (incumbent) 91,341 48%
Republican Jackie Walorski 88,803 47%
Libertarian Mark Vogel 9,447 5%
Turnout 189,591 41%
Democratic hold Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2012 [43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jackie Walorski 134,033 49%
Democratic Brendan Mullen 130,113 48%
Libertarian Joe Ruiz 9,326 3%
N/A Kenneth R. Luntz, Jr. (Write-in) 3 0%
Turnout 273,475 56%
Republican gain from Democratic Swing
Indiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2014 [43]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jackie Walorski (incumbent) 85,119 59%
Democratic Joe Bock 55,331 38%
Libertarian Jeff Petermann 3,992 3%
Turnout 144,442
Republican hold Swing


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External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Joe Donnelly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 2nd congressional district

January 3, 2013 – present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ann Wagner
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Randy Weber