INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A northern Indiana congressional seat will remain vacant until the November election following the death last week of Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski in a highway crash.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a proclamation Tuesday setting the special election for the same date as the Nov. 8 general election. Walorski was seeking reelection in the solidly Republican 2nd Congressional District that she first won in 2012. The candidate elected in November will complete Walorski’s current term running through the rest of this year.
Under Indiana law, it will be up to local Republican officials to decide nominations for the special election and to replace Walorski on the ballot for the full two-year term. No Republican candidates have yet announced plans to seek the seat. The state Republican Party on Tuesday scheduled an Aug. 20 caucus meeting to select the nominations.
The governor’s office cited the complicated legal deadlines for selecting a new candidate as the reason for putting off the special election for three months.
Walorski, who was 58, was a passenger in an SUV with two members of her congressional office staff Aug. 3 when it crossed the median of a northern Indiana state highway and collided with an oncoming vehicle near the town of Wakarusa, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said. The two staff members and the other driver were also killed. Walorski’s funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Granger.
Democrats now hold a narrow 220-210 majority in the U.S. House, with Walorski’s death giving it five current vacancies.
Democrat Paul Steury, a high school science teacher from Goshen, and Libertarian William Henry are currently on the ballot for the full term. Party officials will be able to pick nominees for the special election.