March 3, 2024
Businessman Rudy Yakym will replace late Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-IN, on the ballot in November after Walorski's tragic death in an early August traffic accident.

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The Indiana GOP has selected businessman Rudy Yakym to replace late Rep. Jacki Walorski, R-IN, on the November ballot, according to a Saturday announcement.

Yakym previously served as finance director on Walorski’s 2012 Congressional campaign, and he was one of 12 candidates seeking to fill Walorski’s spot on the November ballot after she was tragically killed in a traffic accident in early August.

Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer congratulated Yakym on the nomination on Saturday.

“Congratulations to Rudy Yakym, our Second Congressional District nominee for both the upcoming special and general elections,” he wrote. “Rudy will be a strong voice for northern Indiana and continue Jackie Walorski’s legacy of fighting for conservative values in Washington, D.C.”

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UNITED STATES - JULY 18: Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., participates in the House Ways and Means Committee Trade Subcommittee hearing on "The Effects of Tariffs on U.S. Agriculture and Rural Communities" on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. 

UNITED STATES – JULY 18: Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., participates in the House Ways and Means Committee Trade Subcommittee hearing on “The Effects of Tariffs on U.S. Agriculture and Rural Communities” on Wednesday, July 18, 2018.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and her husband, Dean, talk with guests at the Kosciusko County Republican Fish Fry in Warsaw, Ind., on April 4, 2018. 

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., and her husband, Dean, talk with guests at the Kosciusko County Republican Fish Fry in Warsaw, Ind., on April 4, 2018.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Yakym will face off against Democrat Paul Steury in two elections in November. The first will be a special election to determine who will serve the remaining time in Walorski’s term, and a general election to determine who will serve the full two-year term beginning in 2023.

Yakym is the favorite in both elections.

Yakym won an in-party election to become the nominee last week. Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart, endorsed him for the role as well, calling Yakym “a political outsider who has what it takes to stand up to the Pelosi-Biden agenda.”

Walorski and two of her staffers died in a traffic accident after their vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic. Police say it was the congresswoman’s vehicle that cross the center line.

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Walorski, 58, communications director Emma Thomson, 28, and district director Zachary Potts, 27, were all killed in the crash. Edith Schmucker, 56, was the sole occupant of the other vehicle, and she was killed as well. Authorities say Potts was driving the SUV.