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Foursome in running for 2nd Congressional District seat

Foursome in running for 2nd Congressional District seat


Incumbent Jacqueline R. (Jackie) Walorski is seeking her fifth term to the U.S. House of Representative’s 2nd District.

Challenging her in the Republican primary is newcomer Christopher Glenn Davis.

Two South Bend attorneys, Pat Hackett and Ellen Marks, are running in the Democratic race.

The 2nd District includes all or part of 10 counties in northern Indiana. A largely white, urban area with a 2018 population of 723,483, the district includes the cities of LaPorte, South Bend and Elkhart.

A former television reporter and missionary to Romania who also worked for Ancilla College and the St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce, Walorski was first elected to the House in 2012.

The former Indiana House representative from District 21, Walorski is currently a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. The Jimtown resident was also appointed to the newly formed Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

According to Walorski, the most important issues facing the Second District are safely reopening and rebuilding the economy, keeping communities safe and healthy, and making sure families have the tools and support they need to thrive.

“Many of our neighbors are facing hardship and uncertainty due to this unprecedented [COVID-19] crisis,” Walorski said. “I’ll keep working to strengthen families, defend the unborn, transform our foster care system to put the needs of children first, and help individuals build a bridge out of poverty."

As the top Republican on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support, Walorski worked on a bipartisan basis to pass the Family First Prevention Services Act and the Family First Transition Act into law to help states transform their foster care systems so families stay together.

Davis, a first-time office seeker, is employed as a signal maintainer for Norfolk Southern Railroad, installing and maintaining rail switches, signal systems, and public crossings. The Mishawaka resident is a former electrical apprentice who cites his middle-class background as an asset.

“Our congressional district is full of middle-class, hard-working people just like myself,” Davis states on his website. “Who better to represent this district than someone who can relate to the problems of the everyday worker and small owner?”

Davis said his top priorities are federal spending and the deficit, legislative support for the lower- and middle-class worker, and Medicare and Social Security insolvency.

Hackett has cited her four decades of service to northern Indiana as a teacher, attorney, and civic leader. Currently an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, she is a former adjunct faculty member at Saint Mary’s College and formerly taught at Mishawaka Marian High School.

Hackett started Hackett & Associates in 2006, working in estate planning, family law, health care law, and advocacy as a trial attorney. She has served with the Community Foundation and YWCA of St. Joseph County and is part president of Alzheimer’s Services of Northern Indiana.

Hackett’s top priorities include ensuring all Americans have access to quality health care, regardless of age, pre-existing conditions and employment or economic status; fighting for a fair economy that strengthens organized labor, increases minimum wages and protects Social Security; and investing in public schools, STEM curricula, early childhood education and increased teacher pay.

An attorney who has worked with businesses and banking, Marks said she is running because “working families in Northern Indiana are not getting a fair shake.”

Having personal experience in health care-related insurance issues, Marks said she will work to ensure every Hoosier has access to affordable health care, even during a financial crisis with high unemployment. She will also work to lower drug prices and protect the supply of pharmaceuticals while building a green future with reusable energy, good-paying jobs, and resilient infrastructure to power the economy.

Describing herself “the common sense, progressive policy work and civil rights advocate,” Marks said she will bring her "in-depth knowledge of the global economy, financial markets, and financial regulations to fight for everyone. I will work to develop sound fiscal, health care, and environmental policies that treat every America … fairly and compassionately.”

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