Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski killed in car accident

Indiana Rep. Jackie Walorski (R) was killed in a wrong-way vehicle crash on Aug. 3, 2022. Walorski was driving on an Indiana highway with two members of her staff, who were also killed in the crash.

Walorski represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District. She was first elected in 2012. Prior to serving in the U.S. Congress, Walorski worked as a television reporter and nonprofit director. She served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 2004 to 2010.

A special election will be called to fill the vacancy created by Walorski’s death. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) stated that his office had not begun the process to set the election. Walorski’s seat is also up for election in the general election on Nov. 8.

Since 2019, eight members of Congress have passed away while serving their terms. Three of those members were Democratic, while the other five were Republican.

The Constitution requires that vacancies in the House be filled through an election. In the first session of any Congress, all states, territories, and districts mandate a special election in case of a vacancy in any House seat. If the vacancy occurs during the second session, requirements differ based on the length of time between when the vacancy occurs and the next general election.

The process for filling House vacancies is distinct from that of filling vacancies in the U.S. Senate, where 37 states fill vacancies through gubernatorial appointment and the remaining 13 require a special election.

Additional reading:

Special elections to the 117th United States Congress (2021-2022)