Representative Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana, was killed along with two of her staff members in an automobile accident on Wednesday, according to House Republican leaders.
Capitol Hill was greatly shocked by the news, which quickly triggered a flood of condolences from lawmakers and workers who remembered the congresswoman and the two staff members’ lives and professions.
Walorski, a 58-year-old congressman from Indiana, previously served in the Indiana House of Representatives and represented the state’s 2nd congressional district. In 2013, she started her tenure in Congress.
The congresswoman’s name has previously been tossed around for the role of conference chairwoman since she was seen to have the potential to one day join the ranks of the GOP leadership. She had been a part of the deputy whip team for the House GOP.
The passing of Walorski was confirmed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“Jackie Swihart was murdered in an automobile accident this afternoon, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office just told Jackie’s husband Dean Swihart. In order to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, she has come home. Please remember her family in your prayers. No more comments will be made at this time “McCarthy tweeted a message from the congresswoman’s office.
Two staff members also passed away, according to a statement issued by the congresswoman’s office. “In addition to the tragic loss of Congresswoman Walorski, I also regret to inform you of the passing of Zach Potts and Emma Thomson, two devoted members of her staff. They embodied what it meant to be a public servant and truly cared about the work they did “Tim Cummings, the congresswoman’s chief of staff, made a statement.
McCarthy issued a long statement later on Wednesday, describing the congresswoman’s death as “extremely sad.” He stated of Jackie, “Jackie was a beloved friend, valued counsel, and the epitome of integrity. She attained the affection and respect of all her colleagues in the House.”
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In response to the congresswoman’s passing, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered flags at the Capitol to fly at half-mast, her deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said on Wednesday.
The congressman, according to Pelosi, “spent a life of service” and “was admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal generosity,” according to a statement.
Walorski “was a champion for the people of Indiana” and “will be remembered for her generosity, persistence, and devotion to assisting others,” according to a statement from House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
The congresswoman had the top Republican position on the House Ethics Committee, putting her in a position to take over as the panel’s chair if the GOP wins back control of the House in the next midterm elections. She also served as the leading Republican on a key House Ways and Means committee subcommittee.
There was no more devoted or effective member of Congress than Jackie, Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted in response to the news, adding, “I was pleased to be her friend.”
According to a statement from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office, Walorski passed away in a car accident.
According to the statement, “a northbound passenger automobile veered left of centre and hit front-on with the southbound sports utility vehicle.”
According to the statement, the three people inside the southbound car all passed away as a result of their wounds.