Five Republicans seek Walorski’s old Congressional seat

By: - August 15, 2022 2:32 pm

Clockwise from top left: former Attorney General Curtis Hill, attorney Tiernan Kane, former Walorski campaign finance director Rudy Yakym, Rep. Curt Nisly, former Rep. Christy Stutzman. (Photos courtesy of: Hill’s 2020 re-election website, Notre Dame University, Yakym’s LinkedIn, Indiana House Republicans, Indiana General Assembly.)

Following the unexpected death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, a handful of Republicans in the 2nd Congressional District have filed to to run for the seat, vying to fill the vacancy during a caucus later this week.

The GOP must nominate someone for the remainder of Walorski’s term, which ends January 3, as well as someone for the next two-year term, which starts the same day. The caucus will meet August 20 to select their candidates. 

Both elections will be held Nov. 8.

Five candidates have filed with the Indiana Republican Party to run: former Attorney General Curtis Hill, attorney Tiernan Kane, Rep. Curt Nisly, of Milford, former State Rep. Christy Stutzman and executive Rudy Yakym. 

Hill lost his 2020 re-election campaign at the state Republican convention, when delegates chose Todd Rokita over Hill. The snub followed a years-long battle over Hill’s sexual misconduct at a 2018 party where he groped four women. 

In response, the Indiana Supreme Court opted to suspend Hill’s law license for 30 days.

Indiana Republican Party Caucuses

When: Both will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 20

Where: Grissom Middle School, located at 13881 Kern Road, Mishawaka, IN 46544

Tiernan Kane works as an attorney with Washington D.C.-based firm Cooper & Kirk and is a Ph.D candidate in political science at the University of Notre Dame. Previously, Kane clerked for Judge Edith H. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Voters ousted Nisly in the May primary, after redistricting pitted Nisly against Rep. Craig Snow, R-Warsaw, for the same seat. He unsuccessfully introduced an amendment in the special session tightening the abortion ban by striking exceptions for rape and incest, winning just six votes.

“We need more Hoosier common-sense in Washington DC,” Nisly said in a Facebook post.  “I’m running to support limited government, to find solutions for inflation, and to help fix the immigration crisis.  I’m excited for the future and look forward to continuing to bring Indiana values to help fix DC.”

Stutzman, the former representative of Middlebury, resigned mid-term in 2020, blaming Gov. Eric Holcomb’s coronavirus countermeasures for harming her dinner-theater business. Her husband, Marlin Stutzman, represented Indiana’s 3rd District from 2010 to 2017.

On Monday, Walorski’s widow, Dean Swihart, endorsed Yakym, Walorski’s former campaign finance director. 

In a statement, Swihart said Yakym had worked with Walorski for years protecting “our faith, families and communities.”

“Rudy is a political outsider who has what it takes to stand up to the Pelosi-Biden agenda,” Swihart said. “He will fight to do the right thing, just as Jackie did every day of her career.”

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Whitney Downard
Whitney Downard

A native of upstate New York, Whitney previously covered statehouse politics for CNHI’s nine Indiana papers, focusing on long-term healthcare facilities and local government. Prior to her foray into Indiana politics, she worked as a general assignment reporter for The Meridian Star in Meridian, Mississippi. Whitney is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University (#GoBonnies!), a community theater enthusiast and cat mom.

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