Remembrances pouring in honoring Second District Representative Jackie Walorski

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("A row of tea candles" by Markus Grossalber, CC BY 2.0)

Jackie Walorski is being remembered by her constituents, as well as fellow political leaders, both locally and on Capitol Hill.

 The Office of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski released the following statement: 

“Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, was just informed by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon. She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. In addition to the devastating loss of Congresswoman Walorski, it is with a broken heart that I announce the passing of two dedicated members of her staff, Zach Potts and Emma Thomson. They were the epitome of public servants who cared deeply about the work they performed on behalf of the constituents of Indiana’s Second Congressional District.” – Tim Cummings, Chief of Staff

U.S. Senator Mike Braun:

“Jackie Walorski was a tireless advocate for the Hoosiers she represented and a kind friend to everyone she met. She faithfully served her constituents and her Lord and Savior, and I trust she is now wrapped in the arms of Christ. This is a devastating loss, and we grieve for her two staff members – Zach and Emma – who had their whole lives ahead of them. Please join me and Maureen in praying for the families and friends of those lost on this tragic day for Indiana.”

U.S. Senator Todd Young:

“I’m truly devastated. Jackie loved Hoosiers and devoted her life to fighting for them. I’ll never forget her spirit, her positive attitude, and most importantly her friendship. All of Indiana mourns her passing, along with the tragic deaths of her staff Emma Thomson and Zach Potts. Please join me in praying for their families in this difficult time.”

Third District Congressman Jim Banks:

“My heart is broken for Dean, the Walorski family, and all who knew and loved my friend Jackie. Jackie was a true public servant –selfless, humble, and compassionate. She was a devout Christian, a passionate advocate for life, and a leader among Hoosier representatives. Everything Jackie did was to serve others. Before Congress, she served in the Indiana Statehouse and she and her husband served as missionaries in Romania where they provided impoverished children food and medical care. From my first day in Congress, Jackie showed me kindness and grace. She had a heart of gold, and I will miss her dearly. Please join Amanda and I in praying for Jackie’s loved ones and the friends and family of her two staff members who also lost their lives in this tragic accident.”

Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson:

“I am shocked and saddened to learn of Rep. Jackie Walorski’s passing and the passing of her staff members. This is a devastating loss for Elkhart, Indiana, and for the nation. Jackie was a warrior for Hoosiers in Washington and her collaboration and passion was felt right here in Elkhart. Her dedication to serving our community will be hard to replace. Her family, her colleagues, and her staff are in my prayers.” 

Governor Eric J. Holcomb: 

“Janet and I are devastated by the tragic loss of our friend Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and her two staffers – Emma Thomson and Zach Potts – earlier today. Our broken hearts go out to her husband Dean and the entire family during this time of unimaginable mourning. At every level of public service Jackie was known to be a positive force of nature, a patriot, and a relentless policy maker with an unwavering loyalty to her constituents. Jackie’s record of achievement is impossible to quantify. She will be remembered as a fighter with a huge heart that always went the extra mile and I’ll treasure the times we walked a few of those together. Every waking moment for her was energetically devoted to improving the lives of all Hoosiers better, the epitome of a good and faithful servant. She, and the example she set, will be missed every day forward.”

Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan: 

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Jackie Walorski. Jackie loved Hoosiers, her country and served with honor in Congress. My prayers are with her family as well as the families of Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson”

South Bend Mayor Mueller:

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of our Representative Jackie Walorski, as well as her Communications Director Emma Thomson and District Director Zachery Potts. Serving in Congress since 2013, Jackie was a force to be reckoned with and represented our community with passion and conviction. Today our community lost a dedicated public servant.”

Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood:

“It is with great sadness that I learned of the tragic event and recent passing of Representative Jackie Walorski. On behalf of all the Citizens of Mishawaka, Jamie and I send our deepest condolences to her husband Dean and Representative Walorski’s family and the people of the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana during this difficult time. The City of Mishawaka and our Citizens mourn with you and together we commemorate the extraordinary life of this remarkable woman who devoted her life to serving and protecting a strong democracy as well as individual freedom and liberty.

Jackie’s work on behalf of our community, the state of Indiana and to the United States of America stands as a testament to the power of a passionate and powerful voice, and her extraordinary leadership can and has made a difference, first in our community, then in Indiana, and now across the United States. Representative Jackie Walorski’s tireless efforts earned her not only the respect of thousands who were inspired by her commitment to our nation, democracy, conservatism, but more importantly one Nation under God. A strong woman of deep and enduring faith, Jackie’s legacy stands as a model to all of us to an unwavering service to others and our Country above self. She is and will forever be a patriot. Jackie will be missed.”

St. Joseph County Sheriff William J. Redman:

On behalf of myself and the entire St. Joseph County Police Department I want to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, Zachary Potts, Emma Thomson and Edith Schmucker. 

The news of their passing was both shocking and devastating to hear. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by this horrible tragedy.

The St. Joseph County Board Of Commissioners:

The Board of Commissioners was shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski earlier today in an automobile accident.  The Board shares in the grief of her family, friends, and constituents, and offers their deepest condolences and prayers to all who knew and loved her. 

Compounding this grief is the fact that two of her staffers, including her District Director and St. Joseph County Republican Chairman, Zach Potts, were also killed in the same accident.  The Board extends their heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family and friends of both Zach Potts and her Communications Director, Emma Thompson. 

Commissioner Kostielney stated, “Jackie Walorski was a remarkable warrior, not just for the citizens of St. Joseph County, but the entire State of Indiana. She always put the needs of her constituents first. She was a kind and giving person and she will be missed greatly.”  

Commissioner Fleming remarked, “I am so saddened to learn of the passing of Jackie and two of her staff members. She was a great advocate for her district and my prayers are with the families of all connected to this tragic accident.”

Commissioner Dieter stated, “Jackie was a great friend to St. Joseph County and a tireless fighter for our residents. Her tenacity and love for her district will be truly missed.”

The South Bend Common Council:

“The Common Council has just learned the news regarding the tragic and
devastating passing of Indiana Representative Jackie Walorski, as well as her
Communications Director, Emma Thomson and District Director, Zachery
Potts. This is a very sad day for our City, State, and the Nation. Jackie was
very friendly and a devoted public servant. We send our deepest thoughts and
prayers to all the families affected by this devastating loss.”

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel: 

“I am devastated to learn of the passing of my good friend, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. She was an incredible public servant for Hoosiers and leader within the Republican Party. The entire Republican National Committee is praying for her family, as well as the families of the two staff who were also tragically killed.”

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer:

“Today, we mourn the tragic loss of Rep. Jackie Walorski and members of her team, Zach Potts and Emma Thomson.

“In her years representing the people of northern Indiana as both a state representative and member of Congress, Rep. Walorski built a legacy of selfless service. It was a privilege of mine to work alongside her, as I have never met a more fierce or effective fighter for what she believed in.

“It takes an incredible team to work and stand beside an effective elected official. There were no better examples than Zach and Emma, who served not only Rep. Walorski, but their district, state, and country.

“I ask all Hoosiers to please join me in praying for the families of each of the victims of this tragic accident as we mourn these difficult losses.”

State Representative Maureen Bauer:

“My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, her Communications Director Emma Thomson and St. Joseph County Republican Party Chairman Zachery Potts. I send my thoughts and prayers to find peace during this heartbreaking time. No matter our policy differences, we all agreed on the importance of working toward the betterment of our community. Their service to the people of St. Joseph County, the second congressional district, and our state of Indiana will not be forgotten.”

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels:

Statement from Purdue University President Mitch Daniels regarding U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, who was killed today (Aug. 3) in an automobile accident. Before serving in Congress, Walorski served three terms in the Indiana Statehouse (2004-2010), where she became assistant floor leader and worked closely with then-Gov. Daniels.

“There could not be worse news. I’m heartsick at this tragedy. Jackie Walorski was a great public servant, a brave and constant ally for change during all my years in elected office, and a great representative of her district at both the state and national levels. I can’t say how much I’ll miss her.”

Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar:

“I am shocked and very saddened by the sudden passing of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and her two staffers, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson, in a car accident today in Elkhart County.

“Congresswoman Walorski was such a pleasure to work with – both in her tenure at the Indiana Statehouse and in Congress. She always fought hard for her constituents and was a trusted ally in advocating for policies to better the lives of Hoosiers. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce sends its sincere condolences to the Congresswoman’s family and the families of all lost today.”

Indiana Broadcasters Association:

The Indiana Broadcasters Association is stunned to learn of the death of Second District Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and three other people in a deadly car accident in northern Indiana on Wednesday.

“Representative Walorski was a no-nonsense Republican who was also a fervent advocate for her constituents. She was a former broadcaster, too, working as a camera operator at WSBT-TV in South Bend. Every visit with Jackie, whether at her Mishawaka office or on Capitol Hill, began with a reminder that time is short and that those who come to speak with her should get right to the point. That candor is sometimes missing from discussions with members of Congress, and we join with the people of her district to mourn her passing and the other lives lost in the Elkhart County accident,” said IBA Executive Director Dave Arland.

Also killed was the driver of the other car, Edith Schmucker, and Walorski staffers Emma Thomson and Zachery Potts.

“Jackie served the people of South Bend, Elkhart, and many other communities in northern Indiana with a mix of good humor and a serious commitment to local concerns. We will certainly miss those conversations that revealed how much she loved the people of her district and serving them in Washington,” Arland said.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Jackie was the kind of representative the rest of congress should emulate. She did her job with skill, talent, and respect for others without virtue signalling as so many do.

    Condolences to the Walorski family, her staffers, and the other driver. All were taken all too soon from this life.

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