By: Leslie Bonilla Muñiz
The Indiana Republican Party on Saturday nominated a longtime political ally of the late Rep. Jackie Walorski to run for her now-vacant seat in Indiana’s Second Congressional District.
Rudy Yakym, a growth initiatives director at an Elkhart-based logistics company, will campaign to both complete Walorski’s current term — which ends January 3 — and earn a new full two-year term. Walorski and two aides died in a car crash August 3.
“Rudy will be a strong voice for northern Indiana and continue Jackie Walorski’s legacy of fighting for conservative values in Washington, D.C.,” said party chairman Kyle Hupfer in a statement Saturday.
Yakym was a campaign finance director for Walorski’s successful 2012 congressional campaign, according to his LinkedIn.
He ran in a crowded field of a dozen Republican candidates, including Curtis Hill, a former state attorney general briefly suspended by the state supreme court for groping four women. Hill came in second.
Walorksi’s husband, Dean Swihart, threw his weight behind Yakym days before the caucus.
“Rudy has spent years working in public service alongside my beloved wife and will fight for our district to protect our faith, families and communities,” Swihart said in a statement last week endorsing Yakym. “Rudy is a political outsider who has what it takes to stand up to the Pelosi-Biden agenda. He will fight to do the right thing, just as Jackie did every day of her career.”
Yakym won the general election ballot vacancy through the balloting process and the special election ballot vacancy via acclamation.
The Indiana Democratic Party, meanwhile, will caucus Tuesday. The party already selected Paul Steury to run for a two-year term, but will convene to nominate a candidate to fill the last few months of Walorski’s current term.