Tea Party-backed Republican open to rematch against Rep. Donnelly

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), one of the few centrist House Democrats who survived the 2010 midterm elections, could face a rematch in 2012 with the Republican challenger he narrowly defeated in November.  

Republican Jackie Walorski told the South Bend Tribune that she's keeping her 2012 options open and not ruling out another run against Donnelly. 

“I’m watching to see what happens with redistricting, seeing if the need is the same at the federal level, seeing if things change with the new Congress,” she told the paper. 

Donnelly defeated Walorski by a slim margin this past fall, winning with less than 49 percent of the vote. Libertarian candidate Mark Vogel took 5 percent of the vote in the race. 

The Republican's 2010 campaign received some high-profile help from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Both attended campaign events for Walorski, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed the candidate on Facebook.  

Walorski told the paper that she blames the Indiana Democratic Party for her narrow loss, citing a mailer paid for by the party that touted Vogel as the real conservative in the race. 

Without Vogel in the contest, Walorski said she has "no doubt" she would have ousted Donnelly.