After narrowly losing to 2nd district Congressman Joe Donnelly two years ago, Republican Jackie Walorski has claimed Donnelly's U.S. House seat in Washington after beating Democrat Brendan Mullen in a very tight race in Tuesday's election.
Walorski won the race by getting less than half of the votes -- less than a 4,000 vote victory over Mullen.
The Iraq War veteran and small businessman says he congratulated Walorski on her victory Tuesday night.
Walorski garnered 49% of the vote on Tuesday to earn a spot in Congress. Mullen got 48% of the vote, while Libertarian Joseph Ruiz picked up the remaining 3%.
The victory announcement was delayed after both campaigns said there were some issues with the vote count.
It was a close race, perhaps closer than some expected. However, Walorski didn't seem surprised by the tight outcome.
"I totally expected it to be close," Walorski said. "I think they did as well. So, I really am not surprised, and I think if you look at the numbers in the presidential race, there's a lot of division in the country, and both sides are passionate. I think that is why when we talk about rolling up our sleeves (Wednesday morning) and working with both sides of the aisle, it's a must."
"One percentage point, what can you say," Mullen reflected. "We marched the ball all the way down the field, and unfortunately, we didn't punch it into the end zone, but I am so proud of the entire team. The response from the community and putting so much confidence into my voice as a prospective member of Congress."
Walorski was a Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives representing the 21st district from 2005-2011. She won the Republican nomination, but narrowly lost the 2010 race for Indiana's 2nd congressional district. She ran again in the new 2nd district which has become more Republican following redistricting.
The national pro-life Susan B. Anthony List claimed victory with Jackie Walorski’s win in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District.
Walorski's campaign for Congress brought support from many big name Republicans including Karl Rove and Mike Huckabee, as well as several local TEA Party organizations. She was endorsed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association, the Indiana Farm Bureau, and Gun Owners of America.