Awful, awful news about one of the more well-liked members of Congress. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and three other people died in a car crash in Elkhart County, Indiana, multiple media outlets are reporting. Two of the three were reportedly staff members:
Four people died in a crash at SR 19 and SR 119 near Nappanee Wednesday afternoon. According to police, one of the victims was US Rep. Jackie Walorski.
The crash happened at 12:32 p.m. Wednesday between two vehicles near the intersection of SR 19 and SR 119.
Three people in an SUV were killed in the crash, including Walorski, Zachery Potts and Emma Thompson.
Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich identified the other two as part of Walorski’s congressional team:
Zachery Potts was Congresswoman Walorski’s district director and Emma Thompson was her Comms director – according to their LinkedIn pages https://t.co/8JWmiUay3j
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) August 3, 2022
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy confirmed the news on Twitter, sharing a statement from Walorski’s husband:
It is with a heavy heart that I am sharing this statement from the Office of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. pic.twitter.com/UEPoKBDf5N
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 3, 2022
There is no word yet on the cause of the collision. The driver of the other car was also killed, and police will likely need some time to investigate to reach any conclusions.
Walorski first came to office in the second Tea Party wave in 2012. She had become popular in IN-02, winning her last election by a 62/38 margin over her Democratic challenger. Presumably Walorski was back in her district to campaign for the midterms. Indiana Republicans will have to figure out what to do next, but IN-02 is R+11.
Those considerations come later, of course. Our prayers and sorrow are with Rep. Walorski’s family, friends, and colleagues, and those of Zachary Potts and Emma Thomson as well. What a horrible tragedy.
Update: I interviewed Rep. Walorski ten years ago at CPAC. Unfortunately, it appears that the videos are no longer available, but I recall the conversation and found her to be sharp, well-versed on the issues, and very genuine and engaging.
Update: Speaker Pelosi made the right call here:
Speaker Pelosi has ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff due to the passing of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) August 3, 2022
Her family and constituents will certainly appreciate this gesture.
Update: I did find the video on my YouTube channel. I won’t embed it here, but here’s the link if you’re interested. Walorski was smart, spirited, and engaging.