Yakym and Steury face off in 2nd district

Voters in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District will vote not once, but twice for the same U.S. house seat on November 8. The District, which covers northern and central Indiana, including South Bend and Elkhart, will feature a general and special election between Republican Rudy Yakym and Democrat Paul Steury.

The general election was previously scheduled, and it will determine the representative for the District from 2023 until 2025. The special election became necessary only after U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski died alongside two staffers in a car crash on August 3. The special election will determine the representative from November until January 2023.

On Aug. 20, the Ind. GOP nominated finance executive Rudy Yakym for the special election to fill Walorski’s seat. Yakym secured 54% of votes on the first ballot.“Rudy will be a strong voice for northern Indiana and continue Jackie Walorski’s legacy of fighting for conservative values in Washington,” party chairman Kyle Hupfer said in a statement following Yakym’s selection.Yakym has in fact won both Republican nominations for the same seat – the first for the general nomination, the second for the special nomination. With previous experience as Walorski’s finance director, Yakym has cast himself as a continuation of Walorski. Walorski’s husband also endorsed Yakym for the special nomination, arguing that Yakym would “stand up to the Pelosi-Biden agenda.” Due to his previous roles serving Gov. Eric Holcolmb, U.S. Sen. Todd Young, and other longtime Ind. Republicans, Yakym has drawn criticism for seeming too “pro-establishment.”

Yakym secured the nomination over a crowded field of candidates, including former Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, who lost his 2020 reelection after sexual misconduct allegations.Democrat Paul Steury will face Yakym in both the general and special elections. Steury, a high school science teacher from Goshen, is endorsed by the National Education Association, the AFL-CIO and the Indiana State Teachers Association.Also on the ballot will be Libertarian William Henry, a veteran and former candidate for lieutenant governor. Henry’s campaign website features a call for “full medical freedom,” including independent review of vaccine approval and ending the federal prohibition on cannabis.

FiveThirtyEight rates the District as “solid Republican,” giving Yakym greater than 99% likelihood of winning.