Jackie Walorski ContactBack to top
Address: 419 CHOB, DC 20515
Phone: (574) 204-2645
Address: 202 Lincolnway East, Mishawaka IN 46544
Phone: (574) 223-4373
Fax: (574) 217-8735
Address: 709 Main Street, Rochester IN 46975
Jackie Walorski StaffBack to top
Jackie Walorski CommitteesBack to top
Jackie Walorski BiographyBack to top
- Elected: 2012, 1st term.
- District: Indiana 2
- Born: Aug. 17, 1963, South Bend
- Home: Elkhart
Taylor University, B.A., 1985
- Professional Career:
Founder, Impact International, 1999-2003; director of annual giving, Indiana University, 1997-98; director of institutional advancement, Ancilla College, 1991-96; executive director, St. Joseph County Humane Society, 1989-91; television reporter, WSBT-TV, 1985-89
- Political Career:
Indiana House, 2004-10
- Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
- Family: Married (Dean Swihart)
Republican Jackie Walorski wrested the newly redrawn 2nd District from the Democrats in 2012, winning the seat held by Democrat Joe Donnelly, who ran successfully for the Senate that year. Donnelly had only narrowly beat Walorski for the House seat two years earlier.
Walorski grew up in a working-class family in South Bend, Ind., the granddaughter of Polish and German immigrants. Her father was a firefighter, and her mother worked at a hospital. She was the first in her family to attend college, graduating from Taylor University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. While her immediate family was Republican, she said she didn’t become passionate about politics until she heard presidential candidate Ronald Reagan speak, recalling that he said Republicans “believed in smaller government and the power of individuals controlling their own destiny.”
Walorski spent her first few years out of college working as a television reporter, and then became an administrator for Ancilla College and Indiana University. In 1999, Walorski and her husband, Dean Swihart, volunteered as Christian missionaries in Romania. The couple eventually set up their own nonprofit organization, Impact International. They were in Romania at the time of the September 11 terrorist attacks, an experience that she said was life-changing. “We sat and watched on the only television we had in Romania. The airspace was closed, we couldn’t get back to our country,” she said. “We really did not know if we’d ever see our country or family again.”
When the couple did get back to Indiana, Walorski ran for and won a seat in the state House. One of her proudest legislative accomplishments in the Indiana statehouse was cosponsoring the state’s voter identification law, which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld in 2008, and working to establish the Indiana Economic Development Corporation as a public and private cooperative venture.
In 2010, she challenged Donnelly. After getting high-profile endorsements from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, she lost narrowly. She continued to campaign for the seat with the intention of challenging him again in 2012, but Donnelly ran for the Senate.
She had little trouble dispatching physician Greg Andrews in the GOP primary, and then faced off against Democrat Brendan Mullen, an Army veteran of the Iraq war who campaigned as a pro-gun, anti-abortion rights moderate. Walorski went on the attack, running an ad that accused him of having three homes in Washington, D.C. Mullen said the homes were rental properties, and he criticized Walorski’s vote for leasing operations of the Indiana Toll Road as a state lawmaker in 2006. The redrawn district’s Republican tilt helped Walorski to a win, albeit a close one, 49% to 48%.Show Less