Jacqueline R. 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 in South Bend, Indiana on August 13, 1963, Walorski grew up with her two older brothers in the city's Gilmer Park neighborhood. 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. She has Polish and German ancestry. As a child, she attended Hay Elementary School and graduated from Riley High School in 1981. She then attended Liberty Baptist College from 1981–83, and graduated from Taylor University, receiving her B.A. in Communications and Public Administration in 1985.
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 1989-91. 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. She later worked as the director of annual giving at Indiana University South Bend from 1997-99.
Walorski moved to Romania in 2000 and founded Impact International; a foundation to provide medical supplies and attention to impoverished children. Walorski did Christian missionary work in Romania before returning to the U.S. in 2004.
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%. In 2006, she won a second term with 53% of the vote. In 2008, she won a third term unopposed.
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. 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.
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. After a different bill passed introducing DST, she authored and introduced a bill to rescind DST, a measure that ended up dying.
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. 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."
Walorski voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
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.
U.S. House of Representatives
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana, 2010 § District 2
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 with 61% of the votes, defeating opponents Martin Dolan, Jack Jordan, and Tony Zirkle. She was defeated, 48%–47% on November 2, 2010 by Donnelly.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Indiana, 2012 § District 2
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. 
Incumbent Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly decided not to seek re-election, opting instead to run for the U.S. Senate. Walorski ran against Libertarian candidate Joe Ruiz of Mishawaka and Democratic candidate Brendan Mullen of Granger, an Iraq War veteran.
On May 8, 2012, Walorski easily won the primary election with 73% of the vote, winning all 10 counties in the 2nd District. Many articles have been written about Walorski's role as a woman running for Congress.
Walorski defeated Mullen 49%–48%. She took office on January 3, 2013. At the same time, Donnelly was elected to the Senate.
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 received endorsements from the National Federation of Small Business and the U.S. and Indiana Chambers of Commerce.
Walorski voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. She supports Trump's healthcare plan and his tax reform plan.
In 2015, Walorski rejected the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill banning Late termination of pregnancy, an abortion procedure given beyond 20 weeks into a pregnancy. In 2013, Walorski had said she would support a ban on late-term abortions.
Walorski has a 63 percent rating from Heritage Action for America based on her conservative voting record.
Walorski has a 69 percent rating from the National Association of Police Organizations for her voting record regarding legislature of importance to police.
Energy & oil
Walorski supports expanded gas and oil exploration in the United States and offshore energy production.
While serving in the Indiana House of Representatives, Walorski received a "A" rating from the National Rifle Association for her gun-related voting record. Walorski opposes restrictions on gun purchases and any restrictions related to the Second Amendment.
Walorski favors repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). She supports market-based health insurance.
Walorski supports balanced budget amendments.
Walorski joined other members of Congress in opposing China's harvesting of organs from Falun Gong prisoners.
Walorski supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order to impose a temporary ban on entry to the U.S. to citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. She believes that it "will allow our national security officials to examine the vetting process and strengthen safeguards to prevent terrorists from entering our homeland."
Walorski is pro-life. She opposes federal and state money from funding abortion and churches providing birth control. She supports efforts to notify parents or guardians when a minor has an abortion.
Walorski has a "D" rating from NORML for her voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. Walorski opposes veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence.
Walorski opposes same-sex marriage.
In 1995, Walorski married her husband, Dean Swihart, a schoolteacher in Mishawaka. She resides in Jimtown, an unincorporated suburban community west of Elkhart, and is a member of Hope City Church, an Assemblies of Godmegachurch in South Bend.
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While much speculation over House leadership changes in the 115th Congress is focused on a contentious speaker’s election that may never materialize, a long series of intraparty leadership, committee and caucus races guarantee significant turnover in top House posts next year.
Retirements, term limits and lawmakers departing for other jobs mean that at least 17 prominent roles, and likely more, will change hands. Elections to determine those new influencers are set to begin during the lame-duck session that opens the week after Election Day.
Up first are the party leadership elections. The House Republican Conference is scheduled to hold its closed-door elections for speaker (assuming the party keeps its majority), leader, whip, conference chair, vice chair, secretary and policy committee chair on Nov. 15. Winners only need to earn a simple majority of the votes cast. Most of the conference’s picks are guaranteed to be the leaders for the next Congress, but the speaker faces the additional hurdle of a floor vote in January that requires a majority of the entire House, or 218 ayes.
The Democratic Caucus will hold its leadership elections sometime during freshman orientation in November — either the week after the election or the week after Thanksgiving.
Here’s a look at the posts that are or could be contested:
National Republican Congressional Committee Chair
This will probably be one of the more high-profile leadership races, with Reps. Steve Stivers of Ohio and Roger Williams of Texas competing to head the House Republicans’ campaign arm during a midterm cycle in which the GOP will be looking to make up for expected losses from the 2016 election. The winner will succeed Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, who is seeking the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee, assuming Republicans keep control of the chamber.
Stivers believes the NRCC could add value by helping incumbents who face primary challenges. Roughly 200 of the 247 House Republicans worry more about primaries than general election contests that have been the NRCC’s focus, he said in an interview.
The NRCC would only provide assistance in primaries if polling shows a real contest (similar to the existing Patriot Program), and funds would only go to members who’ve paid their NRCC dues, Stivers said of his proposal. “It’s got a very, very warm reception,” he said. “People are very excited about and anxious about some help in primaries.”
A Williams spokesman said the congressman would not discuss the NRCC race until after the election, honoring a request from Speaker Paul D. Ryan for members to not publicly campaign for leadership races before then. His decision to run came after numerous members approached him to fill the role because of his fundraising experience, the spokesman said. Williams has run the Republican National Committee’s Eagles program, which provides access to donors who contribute $15,000 or more a year and has helped former President George W. Bush and Texas Sen. John Cornyn.
Republican Conference Vice Chair
Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins, the current conference vice chairwoman, has not said whether she will run again, but if she decides not to — as some are speculating — it will likely create a contested election. A Jenkins spokesman said she is focused on serving her constituents and retaining a strong House majority, and that “there will be plenty of time after the election for leadership races.”
Texas Rep. Bill Flores, who is term-limited as the Republican Study Committee chairman, is considering running for conference vice chairman, but he does not plan to make any decisions until after the election.
Republican Conference Secretary
The conference secretary position will be open since North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx is expected to seek the gavel of the Education and the Workforce Committee. Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski is considering running for the post. Other candidates may emerge to make this a contested race.
Democratic Caucus Chair
The current caucus vice chairman, Rep. Joseph Crowley of New York, has his eye on replacing Chairman Xavier Becerra of California, who is prohibited from seeking a third term under caucus rules. Crowley is not expected to be challenged but has not yet formally announced that he is running.
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair
The main contested race in the Democratic leadership will be for caucus vice chair. Reps. Barbara Lee and Linda T. Sánchez, two minority women from California, are vying for the position considered to be fifth in the leadership line.
Democrats are hoping this contest won't evolve into the kind of hard-fought battle the party faced two years ago, when New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo of California ran a heated campaign for ranking member of Energy and Commerce.
Members cast secret ballots in these races, so winners and losers don’t know who backed who.
Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chair
New York Rep. Steve Israel is retiring, creating an opening for chairman of the Democratic policy and communications committee, a position elected by the caucus upon a nomination by the House Democratic leader. Other members are allowed to nominate someone if they submit a notice signed by five other members. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi created the post for Israel in 2015 after he stepped down as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Top Committee Posts
Most committee chairmen and ranking members are selected by Republican and Democratic steering committees and then approved by the larger party caucuses. The steering committees will meet separately in December.
The structure of the Republican Steering Committee may be tweaked in a Nov. 16 vote on GOP conference rules for the 115th Congress. Committee members will be selected after the rules package is adopted, but the panel is likely to be comprised of party and committee leaders, regional and class representatives, and perhaps, a few at-large members.
The Democratic Steering and Policy Committee is likely to keep most of its current membership, but there will be at least one opening as defeated Maryland Senate candidate Rep. Donna Edwards leaves Congress.
Energy and Commerce
Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan is term-limited and not seeking a waiver to continue heading the panel, even though he will continue to serve in Congress. That has created a contest between Oregon’s Walden, Illinois Rep. John Shimkus and Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton, the committee’s former chairman.
It's likely to be the most watched committee contest given the widespread jurisdiction of the panel and the unpredictable nature of the race.
Barton, the most senior member of the three, chaired the committee from 2004 to 2007 and served as ranking member from 2007 to 2009. His spokesman confirmed that he was in the running to take back the gavel. Considered a chairman emeritus, Barton's previous service atop the committee would normally mean that he would need to seek a waiver to get past Republican term limits, but his spokesman said leadership has assured the 16-term congressman that he does not need a waiver to run.
Shimkus, in his 10th term, has seniority over Walden, a factor the Steering Committee usually weighs heavily. But Walden, who's in his ninth term, has an advantage as the sitting NRCC chairman, since he’s spent the last two years raising money for his colleagues to help get them re-elected.
Like Upton, Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers is term-limited, not seeking a waiver and not retiring. The Kentucky Republican has said he would be interested in being chairman of the panel’s defense subcommittee next Congress. And there’s likely to be an opening, with New Jersey Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen, the current defense subcommittee chairman, seeking the full committee gavel.
Frelinghuysen is the most senior Republican appropriator next to Rogers, so he is favored even if another member were to challenge him. But a contest seems unlikely; Alabama Rep. Robert B. Aderholt, the only other member to have discussed running, appears to have backed off.
Expect contested races for both party leadership positions. Tennessee Rep. Phil Roe is running to succeed retiring Chairman Jeff Miller of Florida, Roe’s office confirmed. Committee Vice Chairman Gus Bilirakis of Florida, who is more senior than Roe, is said to be interested as well.
Rep. Doug Lamborn, the second-highest ranking Republican on the panel, is also running, his office confirmed.
The ranking member slot on the panel is also open since Florida Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown had to step aside after she was indicted. California’s Mark Takano has filled the role in an acting capacity and is seeking to make the role permanent. But Takano faces a challenge from Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota, who has touted being the “highest-ranking enlisted soldier to serve in Congress.”
Education and the Workforce
Foxx of North Carolina is relinquishing her Republican conference secretary post to run for the chairmanship of the Education and the Workforce Committee, where the term-limited Chairman John Kline of Minnesota is retiring. She is not expected to have a challenger.
The speaker and minority leader nominate who leads the House Ethics Committee, whose members have the unpleasant task of sitting in judgment of their colleagues. Chairman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania is stepping down due to term limits imposed by the panel’s guidelines. California’s Sánchez, the ranking member, is eligible to stay on for one more term but is unlikely to do so if she wins the Democratic caucus vice chairmanship.
Chairwoman Candice S. Miller opted this year to run for local office in her native Michigan, creating an opening for a position informally considered to be mayor of Capitol Hill. The chair of this low-profile panel, which oversees everything from floor proceedings, security, payroll and office furnishings, is nominated by the speaker and confirmed by the entire conference.
Two potential successors have emerged. One is Rep. Gregg Harper of Mississippi, who is considered second-in-command on the panel. His office said the congressman has confidence the speaker will do what is in the best interest of the House. Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis, who is third in line, may be another potential candidate. But all his office would say is that Davis would be interested in continuing to work on the committee in any capacity he is asked to by the speaker.
As speaker, Ryan gets to select the chairman of the Rules Committee and the Republican conference will ratify his choice. It is possible Ryan will reappoint Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, who was selected in 2012 to head the panel by former Speaker John A. Boehner.
Sessions has been a loyal Ryan ally, but this would be Ryan’s first opportunity to choose a Rules Committee chairman, and he could decide to shake things up.
For now, Ryan’s team is not indicating a preference. “The speaker is focused on protecting our congressional majorities, and we’re not discussing chairmanships until after the election,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.
Since Rep. Chris Van Hollen is running for Senate in Maryland, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will nominate the next ranking member on the Budget Committee, who will then be voted on by the entire caucus. She’s stayed mum on who she considers a favorite, but Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky has expressed interest to fellow members. The position is considered to be a leadership post, albeit one that is the lowest rung on the ladder.
Party Caucus Changes
Republican Study Committee
The larger of the two conservative caucuses in the House will hold its leadership elections on Nov. 17. Two candidates — Reps. Andy Harris of Maryland and Mark Walker of North Carolina — are vying for the chairmanship, which changes hands with each new Congress, per the RSC’s bylaws. Both men are current members of the group’s board of directors and say they are seeking to align conservatives so the right can exert even more influence in the Republican conference .
Harris, who is also a member of the more conservative House Freedom Caucus, is the recommended choice of the group’s prior chairmen, given that he’s served in Congress four years longer than Walker, who is a freshman. But Walker has also racked up several high-profile endorsements and doesn’t plan to go down without a fight.
The Tuesday Group, a caucus of centrist Republicans, does not have term limits for its leadership. Currently, the group is co-chaired by Pennsylvania’s Dent and Robert J. Dold and Adam Kinzinger, both of Illinois. Dent, who is the most public face of the leadership team, is expected to remain on as chairman. Dold and Kinzinger may run again too, if they’re re-elected to Congress. Dold is one of the most at-risk members this cycle, coming in fourth place on Roll Call’s most recent list of the top 10 most vulnerable House members. Kinzinger, however, is in a Safe Republican seat, according to The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rating.
House Freedom Caucus
Whether the Freedom Caucus elects a new chairman for the first time since the group’s inception in 2015 depends entirely on current Chairman Jim Jordan. The Ohio Republican is not expected to face opposition if he were to seek another term. But Jordan may be more likely to step aside and let another Freedom Caucus founder take the helm. North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows has signaled he will run for chairman if Jordan does not. It’s unclear if any other members may consider challenging him.
Congressional Progressive Caucus
The Congressional Progressive Caucus will elect its co-chairmen as it customarily does before each new Congress. This panel does not have term limits. Current Co-Chairman Keith Ellison of Minnesota is running again, his office confirmed. But staff of fellow co-chairman, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, said it was not known if the Arizona congressman would seek another term.
Congressional Black Caucus
The Congressional Black Caucus is also holding an election, though it’s keeping a tight lid on who might be interested in leading the group. The CBC holds leadership elections before each new Congress. The caucus did not respond to a request for comment on whether the current chairman, North Carolina Democrat G.K. Butterfield, can or will run again.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus elects new leaders each Congress, per its bylaws. This year, the group will hold leadership elections in November. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, the current first vice chairwoman, is planning to seek the chairmanship. Other members of the leadership team are also expected to move up a rung on the ladder.
New Democrat Coalition
This is one of the more crowded races this cycle, with all three current vice chairs running to replace Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin, who cannot seek another term under coalition bylaws that prevent chairs from serving for two consecutive Congresses. Reps. Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia, Jim Himes of Connecticut, and Jared Polis of Colorado are all in the running to replace him. The New Democrats will hold their election the week of Nov. 28.
Blue Dog Coalition
Each Congress, the Blue Dog Coalition elects leaders after candidates are selected by a three-member nominating committee. Current coalition co-chairmen, Jim Cooper of Tennessee, Jim Costa of California and Kurt Schrader of Oregon, will select the nominating committee members after the November election. Once the nominating commission proposes the candidates, coalition members will vote. Because the nominating committee has not yet been formed, it’s difficult to speculate on who the candidates will be.
This article has been updated to include Rep. Doug Lamborn to the list of candidates running for chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee.
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