Jackie Walorski, a Republican from Indiana, was murdered along with two of her staff members in an automobile accident on Wednesday, as per the House Republican leaders.
Capitol Hill was greatly taken back 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 worked in the Indiana House of Representatives and represented the state’s 2nd congressional district. From 2013, she started her tenure in Congress.
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The congresswoman’s name has previously been considered 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.
“Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, was just informed by 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. We will have no further comment at this time,”McCarthy said in a tweet.
Two members of her staff also passed away, according to a statement issued by her office. “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,”Tim Cummings, the congresswoman’s chief of staff,stated.
McCarthy issued a long statement later on Wednesday, talking about the congresswoman’s death as “extremely sad.” He said 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.”
In reply 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, “lived a life of service” and “was admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness,” according to a statement.
Walorski “was a champion for the people of Indiana” and “will be remembered for her kindness, tenacity, and commitment to helping others,” according to a statement from House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.
The congresswoman had the top Republican rank 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 ranking Republican on a key House Ways and Means committee subcommittee.
There was no one who was more devoted or effective member of Congress than Jackie, Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted in reply 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.
“A northbound passenger car travelled left of centre and collided head-on with the southbound sports utility vehicle,” an official statement read.
According to the statement, the three people inside the southbound car all passed away as a result of their wounds.