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Democratic newcomer files last-minute congressional candidacy

Lori Camp
Lori Camp

The Democratic Party has found a candidate to run against Republican incumbent Representative Rudy Yakym.

Actually, she found party leaders, and you probably haven’t heard of her.

Lori Camp says she was checking Facebook the morning of Feb. 8 when she was shocked to see a post stating that there was no Democrat challenging Yakym. The Republican holds the 2nd District U.S. House seat that Jackie Walorski held when she was killed in a car accident in 2022.

Camp commented on the Facebook post that she would run if no one else is. The post came from a progressive-leaning group called MADVoters. Soon they had connected her with party leaders, and less than 24 hours later, she was the party’s only candidate.

Camp is a 57-year-old married mother of a college student. She works for South Bend-based software firm Donnell Systems.

She realizes she’s an underdog with no fundraising network, while Yakym has announced he raised more than $1 million last year. But Camp says she’s serious.

"I'm just the kind of jump in and get it done kind of person when something needs done, so it felt kind of natural," Camp says. "And while it's an unlikely start, I am in to win."

Brian Smith, the district’s Democratic Party vice chair, says after meeting her on the phone, he was impressed enough to rush to Indianapolis by the noon deadline on Feb. 9 to file her paperwork.

"Lori is phenomenal," Smith says. "I had one conversation with her and I was sold. Every day she has somebody else saying they want to volunteer."


Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).