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Former state rep, former state AG among those running for Walorski's seat

Christy Stutzman served as Indiana state representative in District 49 and sat on multiple committees in the statehouse.

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. — A former Indiana state representative and a former Indiana attorney general are among a handful of people running in the November 2022 special election to fill the vacancy of U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, who died in a car crash Aug. 3.

Curtis Hill Jr., Christy Stutzman, Tiernan Kane, outgoing State Rep. Curt Nisly and Rudolph Yakym III have filed to run.

Hill's law license was suspended for 30 days by the Indiana Supreme Court, which found Hill committed a misdemeanor battery in 2018. Hill was accused of inappropriately touching women at a party celebrating the end of the legislative session in March 2018. 

Stutzman was previously a state representative who announced shortly after her 2020 election victory to the Indiana House, that she was stepping down to devote more time to her family’s business. Stutzman blamed coronavirus restrictions ordered by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb for creating “instability and difficult circumstances” for the business.

Her husband, Marlin Stutzman, served six years in Congress before losing a 2016 Republican primary U.S. Senate bid amid ethics concerns from an Associated Press investigation into the spending of campaign money on hotels, meals and at least one family trip.

Kane gained national notoriety for trying to form a "traditional marriage" club at Notre Dame University. The club was rejected by the university’s Student Activities Office.

Nisly was an outspoken opponent of exceptions to the abortion ban. He authored a bill providing "protection at conception." It would not have allowed for exceptions to the abortion ban including rape, incest or health of the mother. 

Yakym is currently the Director of Growth Initiatives at Kem Krest, an Elkhart logistics company. He is endorsed by Walorski's husband, Dean Swihart. He said in a statement:

"After deep reflection and deliberation, today I am supporting Rudy Yakym to represent the 2nd District of Indiana in Congress. Rudy has spent years working in public service alongside my beloved wife and will fight for our district to protect our faith, families and communities. Rudy is a political outsider who has what it takes to stand up to the Pelosi-Biden agenda. He will fight to do the right thing, just as Jackie did every day of her career. I encourage the precinct committeemen to support Rudy in this week’s caucus.”

A Republican caucus will choose the GOP nominee for the General Election on Aug. 20.

"She built up a lot of support and so, the person who fills her shoes will gain a lot of that support and is expected to win," said Elizabeth Bennion, Chancellor’s Professor of Political Science at Indiana University South Bend. "This seat will also come with a lot of support in terms of fundraising, and we haven't seen a lot of campaigning from Walorski's Democratic opponent. That could change moving forward."

Special election

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order Tuesday, Aug. 9 calling for the special election, which will be held concurrently with the general election on Nov. 8, 2022.

The crash happened in Elkhart County around 12:30 p.m., when the SUV Walorski was in crossed the center line on State Road 19 and collided head-on with another car, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said. The updated information came after eyewitness and video evidence was located. Police had originally said the driver of the other car crossed center.

Police said everyone in the crash had on seatbelts and airbags did deploy.

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