Rep. Jackie Walorski, who was killed in a car collision Wednesday along with two members of her staff, was "an amazing person" who was "hardworking, really honest, and totally reliable," Rep. Claudia Tenney said on Newsmax.
"I'm so devastated," the New York Republican told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "She was one of those people that was you could really count on in Congress. I know the political business brings all kinds in, but Jackie was one of those people you could go to for anything. You could completely trust her. You could take it to the bank, and she was completely honest. You didn't have to worry about her saying one thing to one person and another to another."
Walorski, 58, who had represented Indiana's 2nd Congressional District since 2012, died Wednesday afternoon. In Congress, she had served on the House Ways and Means Committee and as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support.
The staffers, Emma Thomson, 28, and Zachery Potts, 27, also died in the crash, as did the driver of the other vehicle, which had crossed a center line and hit the Walorski vehicle head-on, the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office said.
"I was really just kind of frozen when I heard the news yesterday because she's just such a great leader and inspiration, and I know when things and the chips are really down, and you really need a good answer on something and tough bills and tough votes are out there, you could always count on Jackie," said Tenney. "She was a super hard worker, not to mention she was a very devout person, and she devoted her life to helping other people, and I think that there are very rare qualities that she had as a public servant."
Walorski also was "never about the show," as her career was "all about substance and making sure that her constituents were protected," said Tenney. "I hate to use the old expression, but it's really true. There are workhorses and show horses. Jackie was a workhorse, and everything she did had a meaning and related back to the people in her district."
Tenney said she also wanted to remember Walorski's staff members who died in the crash.
"The staff do not get the credit they deserve," Tenney said. "I have an amazing staff. They're fantastic. They're like family to me … this is a hard job, being in Congress. It's an even harder job to be a member of staff and to go through the rigors of what we go through every day. My heart is just broken."
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