Following the unexpected death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, a handful of Republicans from the 2nd congressional district have come forward to run for the seat, vying to fill the vacancy in a caucus later this week.
The GOP must appoint someone for the remainder of Walorski’s term, which ends Jan. 3, as well as someone for the next two-year term, which begins the same day. The caucus will meet on August 20 to select its candidates.
Both elections will take place on November 8.
Five candidates have filed with the Indiana Republican Party to run: former Attorney General Curtis Hill, attorney Tiernan Kane, Rep. Curt Nisly, of Milford, former state Rep. Christy Stutzman and the executive Rudy Yakym.
Hill lost his 2020 re-election campaign at the state’s Republican convention, when delegates chose Todd Rokita over Hill. The snub follows a years-long battle over Hill’s sexual misconduct at a party in 2018 where he groped four women.
In response, the Indiana Supreme Court chose to suspend Hill’s law license for 30 days.
Tiernan Kane did not respond to emails requesting general information, but works as an attorney at the Washington DC-based law firm Cooper & Kirk and is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Notre Dame. Previously, Kane worked for Judge Edith H. Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Voters ousted Nisly in the May primary, after redistricting pitted Nisly against Rep. Craig Snow, R-Warsaw, for the same seat. He unsuccessfully introduced an amendment at the special session tightening the ban on abortion by removing exceptions for rape and incest, winning just six votes.
“We need more Hoosier common sense in Washington DC,” Nisly said in a Facebook post. “I am running to support limited government, to find solutions to inflation and to help solve the immigration crisis. I am excited about the future and look forward to continuing to bring Indiana values to help fix DC.
Stutzman, the former Middlebury representative, resigned midterm in 2020, blaming Governor Eric Holcomb’s coronavirus countermeasures for hurting her dinner theater business. Her husband, Marlin Stutzman, represented Indiana’s 3rd District from 2010 to 2017.
On Monday, Walorski’s widow, Dean Swihart, endorsed Yakym, Walorski’s former campaign finance director.
In a statement, Swihart said Yakym had worked with Walorski for years to protect “our faith, our families and our communities.”
“Rudy is a political underdog who has what it takes to stand up to the Pelosi-Biden agenda,” Swihart said. “He will fight to do the right thing, like Jackie has every day of his career.”
The Indiana Capital Chronicle is an independent, nonprofit news organization that covers state government, politics and elections.