Itll be Walorski and Mullen in the District 2 U.S. House race
Posted: 05/09/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Tim Vandenack
Both hopefuls easily won their primaries Tuesday and, flush with victory, each lobbed strong words of criticism at the other.
Appealing to anti-President Obama sentiment, Walorski, speaking at a gathering of Elkhart County Republicans at Antonio’s Italian Restaurant in Elkhart, said Mullen “seems to espouse exactly what President Obama espouses.” She reiterated her vow to be an “independent voice” in Washington, D.C., and decried Mullen’s links to the city, where he used to live and where he started a consulting firm.
Mullen, a U.S. Army vet from South Bend making his first run for public office, emphasized his experience starting his consulting company and creating jobs. He characterized Walorski, who served three terms in the Indiana House and unsuccessfully sought the District 2 post in 2010, as a “professional politician, a professional parade-goer.”
Walorski, a tea party favorite who lives in the Jimtown area outside Elkhart, posted the more impressive numbers Tuesday. With 70 percent of precincts counted Tuesday night, the Associated Press said she had 28,616 votes, 71 percent of the total, compared to 11,912, 29 percent, for GOP opponent Greg Andrews, a South Bend doctor. Also with 70 percent of precincts reporting, Mullen garnered 8,671 votes, 57 percent of the total, to 6,664, or 43 percent, for Democratic foe Dan Morrison, a recreational vehicle manufacturing firm manager from Elkhart.
Democrat Joe Donnelly — who narrowly beat Walorski in 2010, before redistricting increased the number of GOP-leaning areas in District 2 — currently holds the District 2 post. He’s not seeking re-election and is running for the U.S. Senate instead.
With the primary history, Walorski doesn’t foresee dramatic changes in her efforts or message. “We’re still doing the same thing we’ve been doing, listening to Hoosiers,” she said.
Mullen, speaking by phone from his campaign victory party at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, said he’s excited, but the effort doesn’t stop now. “We have a long road ahead of us,” he said, 182 days until the Nov. 6 election, to be exact.
Meanwhile, Andrew Straw, who plans to run for the 2nd District seat as a Green Party candidate, called Tuesday for six debates among the hopefuls, one per month until Election Day.