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Notre Dame official weighs challenge to Walorski

Democrats want Notre Dame official to challenge Walorski for Congressional seat
Associated Press
Posted on Oct. 20, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Oct. 20, 2013 at 5:34 p.m.

SOUTH BEND — A University of Notre Dame official says Democratic Party leaders are encouraging him to run for northern Indiana’s 2nd District U.S. House seat against first-term incumbent Republican Jackie Walorski.

Joseph Bock, director of global health training for Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, told the South Bend Tribune for a report Sunday that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is encouraging him to run and he could formally announce his candidacy this month.

“I’m taking a very serious look at it,” Bock said.

The committee and state and district Democratic leaders have been searching for a candidate to challenge Walorski, who defeated Democrat Brendan Mullen by just 1.4 percent of the vote in 2012 in a district drawn to strongly favor Republicans. Mullen decided not to run again.

Bock, 55, said he’s a moderate, anti-abortion Democrat. He served three terms as a state representative in Missouri after defeating a Republican incumbent in 1986. He came to Notre Dame seven years ago after directing Catholic Relief Services programs and relief efforts overseas in Haiti, Thailand, Bosnia and other countries.

Bock said his son Nick, a case manager for Sen. Joe Donnelly, recommended him to state Democratic officials.

Walorski is on a pace to raise $1 million in campaign funds by the end of the year, but she could face a challenge within her own party. Curt Nisly, a tea party member whose wife, Mary, is the Elkhart County Republican chairman, told the Tribune he’s considering a GOP primary run.

But Nisly said he is concerned that Walorski, with such a narrow victory in 2012, could lose next year.

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