Brendan Mullen, the Democrat who narrowly lost to Jackie Walorski in the hard-fought race for the U.S. House last year, won’t challenge the Republican again in 2014.
He sent an email blast Friday, July 12, saying he’s focused for now on his wife and young children and developing his small consulting business. He also plans to pursue a master’s degree in business as a part-time student at the University of Notre Dame.
“I’m not sure what the future holds, but in the meantime I’ve got diapers to change, dinner to prepare and payroll to process,” he said in the email.
Mullen, a U.S. Army veteran originally from South Bend and now living in Granger, battled Walorski last year for Indiana’s 2nd District seat in the U.S. House. It was an intense race, and Walorski, from Elkhart, ultimately won, garnering 49 percent of the vote to 47.6 percent for Mullen.
Carol McDaniel, the Democratic Party’s 2nd Congressional District chairwoman, didn’t immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment. Last spring, she was spearheading efforts to recruit a Democratic candidate to run against Walorski.
But national Republicans were quick to sound off.
“As another one of the national Democrats’ top recruits drops out, Nancy Pelosi’s fantasy of Democrats reclaiming the House becomes further out of reach every day,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Katie Prill said in an email. Pelosi, a Democrat from California, is the House minority leader.
In an email, Walorski said her focus remains on families here in Indiana.
“I am grateful to represent the 2nd District in Congress,” Walorski said. “I will remain focused on working for Hoosier families to advocate for common sense solutions, create jobs and improve the economy.”
Mullen and wife Suzanne have heard from Hoosiers who are frustrated over the “status quo.”
“However, after a great deal of thought, deliberation and quiet reflection, Suzanne and I have decided not to run for Congress in 2014,” Mullen wrote in his email. “The Hoosier values of service and integrity that inspired us to run for Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012 do not fade in defeat, but will always push me to be an active voice within our community.”
Meanwhile, he’ll do everthing he can “to make sure the Democratic nominee is successful in 2014,” Mullen wrote.