INDIANAPOLIS — Former state Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte, is considering running next year for the U.S. House against 2nd District Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, R-Elkhart.

The veteran Hoosier lawmaker, former LaPorte County sheriff and current member of the LaPorte Community School Board said Monday that he's been approached by influential Democrats who urged him to think about the race.

"I have been asked to consider it. I don't know how many others have been asked," Arnold said. "I have to say the encouragement has been overwhelming from what few people I've spoken to."

Arnold said it's only in the past few days that he's begun discussing with his family, and reaching out to local party leaders, about whether he should run.

"There's a lot of variables that I have to take into consideration," he said. "I'm still thinking about all the pros and cons."

He expects to make a final decision around Labor Day.

If he does get in, Arnold said he would put his "full heart and soul into it, and do the best job that I can."

"I've never gotten into any race to come in second," he said. "I didn't always come in first, but I wasn't going to get into the race to come in second."

As for his potential opponent, Arnold said he has "the highest respect" for Walorski.

He noted that they served together in the General Assembly and even sat next to each other at a Notre Dame football game last season.

But Arnold does not agree with Walorski's positions on most issues. For that matter, he said, he doesn't agree with the Democratic line on many issues.

"Once I was in there, I'm going to do what I feel is best for the people — not the Ds (Democrats), or the Rs (Republicans) or the independents," Arnold said. "I've got to do what I think is right for the people that I represent."

The 2nd Congressional District covers most of north-central Indiana, including a significant portion of LaPorte County and all of St. Joseph County.

Walorski was first elected to the seat in 2012, succeeding Democrat Joe Donnelly who was elected that year to the U.S. Senate.