The late Rep. Jackie Walorski's almost-sure successor in Congress will be selected by Republicans in Indiana's 2nd District (South Bend-Elkhart) this Saturday.
Just over two weeks after Walorski and three others were killed in a head-on collision near Nappanee, Indiana, 530 Republican precinct committee members from throughout the 2nd District will gather at the Grissom Middle School in Mishawaka to choose a new Republican nominee.
With Walorski re-elected to her last term in 2020 with 63% of the vote, few doubt that whoever emerges from the Saturday session with the Republican banner will win the open seat in the fall.
Six Republicans are vying for nomination, which includes phoning and texting committee members and meeting them at their homes. A surprise entry into the race was Curtis Hill Jr., former state attorney general once considered a political superstar in the Hoosier State.
Two years ago, facing charges he had inappropriately touched four women at a party (including Democratic State Rep. Maria Candelaria Reardon) and suspended from law practice for 30 days after a judge found "clear and convincing that [Hill] committed the act of battery" against the women. Hill was beaten for nomination as attorney general by fellow Republican Todd Rokita.
If nominated and elected, Hill would be Indiana's first Republican House Member who happens to be black.
Last week, Kem Krest distribution company executive Rudy Yakym received the strong endorsement of Walorski's husband Dean Swihart. Yakym is a longtime friend of the late congresswoman and served as her finance chairman.
A surprise entry into the race was former State Rep. Christy Stutzman, whose husband Marlin represented the neighboring 3rd District from 2010-16 before losing the GOP Senate primary. Following her re-election to the legislature in 2020, Christy announced she was resigning to devote more time to her family business.
Considered farther behind than Hill, Yakym, and Stutzman are State Rep. Curtis Nisly, who lost a primary for his seat in May to attorney Tiernan Kane of South Bend, and Lakeville tax preparer Michael Hogberg.
Under party rules, committee members eliminate the bottom vote-getter on each ballot and continue to vote until one candidate gets a majority.
Assuming the Republican nominee beats Democrat nominee Paul Steury in the fall, he or she is likely to vote in the mold of Walorski (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 76%).
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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