Who was Jackie Walorski?
- Jacqueline Walorski died in a car accident on Aug. 3, 2022
- She represented Indiana's 21st district, from 2005 to 2010
- She was married to Dean Swihart, a schoolteacher
Born in South Bend, Indiana, on August 17, 1963, Walorski grew up with her two older brothers in the city's Gilmer Park neighborhood. Her mother, Martha C, worked as a meat cutter at a local grocery store, and her father, Raymond B. Walorski, worked as a firefighter and owned an appliance store.
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As a child, she attended Hay Elementary School and graduated from Riley High School in 1981. She then attended Liberty Baptist College from 1981 to 1983, and graduated from Taylor University, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and public administration in 1985.
She started her career as a television reporter for WSBT-TV, a CBS affiliate in South Bend, from 1985 to 1989, and was the executive director of the St. Joseph County Humane Society from 1989 to 1991.
Walorski moved to Romania in 2000 and founded Impact International, a foundation to provide medical supplies and attention to impoverished children.
In 2010, Walorski won the Republican nomination for Indiana's 2nd congressional district. However, she lost the general election to Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly with very less margin. Walorski won the seat in 2012 after Donnelly vacated it to run for the US Senate.
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In 1995, Walorski married Dean Swihart, a schoolteacher in Mishawaka.
Walorski died at the age of 58 in the car accident, which also killed two of her staffers – Walorski District Director Zachery Potts, 27, and her Communications Director Emma Thomson, 28.
“Devastated to hear the horrible news of the passing of Jackie Walorski and her two staffers,” Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., tweeted. “She was a dear friend who loved serving the people of Indiana in Congress.”