2nd District Democratic nominee speaks ahead of special election

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:03 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - The Democrat running for Indiana’s second district congressional seat has been on the campaign trail for 151 days, and only now does he know who he is really running against.

Paul Steury called the death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, “shocking” and “saddening.”

Steury says he knows very little about the new Republican replacement candidate in the race—Rudy Yakym—who won the GOP caucus on Saturday.

“I will have to do some investigating on Rudy, because I really don’t know who he is,” Steury told 16 News Now.

.Steury is a 59-year-old married father of two, who has spent about three decades working mainly in education although he also calls himself a “worker for the worker,” having done stints in landscaping and factory work over the years.

So far, the campaign trail has taken him to more than one pro-choice rally, to every county fair in the second district, and to 13 parades.

“With the congresswoman, I was constantly feeling I had to rise up a mountain because her seniority, and her popularity, and now I’m on this level playing field, and I am excited,” Steury explained. “We just went from going against a superstar, rock star, to someone we don’t really know very well.”

Steury said he was approached by Democratic Party leaders who asked him to run. He says he had no major plans to specifically attack Walorski’s voting record and feels the late change in opponents gives him a head start. “It’s exciting because there’s never been a person run for congress from Goshen, from Goshen College. There’s never been an environmental educator has run for congress, there’s never been a Mennonite that’s run for congress, I mean, so there’s all these firsts.”

While Steury is the first congressional candidate to hail from Goshen in a long time, he is not the first ever. A viewer points out that Goshen College graduate and Goshen resident Charles Ainlay ran in 1962 as the Republican candidate against John Brademas.

On Tuesday evening, Indiana second district Democrats will caucus to name a candidate for the Special Election on Nov. 8. Steury is currently the only person who has filed to be that candidate. The Special Election will determine who will serve the remainder of the term of Jackie Walorski.