Answering what’s next for the vacant IN-02 vacancy

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5:25 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - New details as the state and country continue to mourn the sudden loss of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski.

Our own Jack Springgate got some information from the Indiana Election Division, who told us about the steps in the process of filling both the ballot vacancy for the general election and the elected official vacancy in a potential special election.

They also say that the constituents voting in a special election won’t be the same group as those voting in the general election.

The Indiana code says the governor will have to call a special election to fill the empty seat. It will be up to him when that election will be held. It could be held on the same day as the general election on November 8th.

If a special election happens, Republican and Democrat precinct leaders based on the old IN-02 map will caucus to nominate a candidate. Smaller parties and individuals have a different process to get on the special election ballot.

Those who voted in IN-02 during the 2020 election will be the ones deciding the outcome of the special election.

The winner will serve as IN-02′s representative until Jan. 3rd 2023.

Then there’s the matter of who will fill Walorski’s spot on the general election ballot as the Republican nominee for the next congressional term.

Since the other parties already have their candidates based on the primary elections, only the republican precinct leaders based on the new IN-02 maps will have to caucus for a nominee to put on the general election ballot.

This may or may not be the same candidate they put up for the special election too.

This race will be decided by voters within the new IN-02 boundaries meaning some voters in La Porte and Cass Counties will vote in one race but not the other.

In a statement from the St. Joseph County Republican Party on their next steps, acting Chairperson Susan Baxmeyer said “As a political family, we are grieving the loss of dear friends and respected leaders. At this time a caucus date to fill the vacancy created by the tragic death of Chairman Zach Potts has not been set. As acting Chairman of the St. Joseph County Party, I can assure interested individuals that we will fulfill our duties under Party Rules in due time.”

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