South Bend Tribune Announces Pat Hackett’s Campaign

Published in the South Bend Tribune: October 25, 2017, Author: Jeff Parrott

See original article here.

South Bend attorney Mary Patricia “Pat” Hackett Tuesday confirmed her plans to seek the Democratic nomination for the 2nd District congressional seat next year.

Hackett said she will compete in the May 2018 Democratic primary election with Mel Hall, former CEO of health care survey firm Press Ganey, and Yatish Joshi, an Indian-born businessman and CEO of South Bend-based GTA Containers. The winner will face Republican incumbent Jackie Walorski in the November 2018 general election.

Hackett, 58, originally from Detroit, has lived in South Bend for 40 years, having stayed here after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in theology from the University of Notre Dame. She left town from 1984-87 to pursue a doctoral degree in theology from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., but opted not to finish the degree and returned to South Bend to earn a law degree from Notre Dame in 1991.

For the past 26 years she has worked as an attorney, specializing in estate, probate and health care law. She was an associate with the law firm Barnes and Thornburg for eight years, served as in-house counsel for Holy Cross Health System (now called Trinity Health System) for two years, joined the Baker & Daniels firm for five years, and has run her own firm since 2006.

“I’m running because I want to assist not only my party but the country in reclaiming, rebuilding and furthering our pluralistic democracy and our commitment to the human dignity of all people,” Hackett said Tuesday. “Jackie Walorski is facilitating an administration that poses a grave risk to our democracy.”

Hackett said she realizes Republican President Donald Trump enjoyed wide support in the Republican-leaning district in the November election, but she thinks that support is eroding, as evidenced by the opposition she has heard to Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

“I think many people have woken up since the election of Donald Trump,” Hackett said.

Hackett seven years ago married Rita Koehler. She acknowledged that being openly gay could cause her some problems in the district’s more rural and conservative parts.

“I think people who have not had the opportunity to know people in committed same-gender marriages can have a hard time with this,” she said. “I’m hoping people can come to know me as a person, the values I hold and the competency that I bring. My education, my professional life, my work as an attorney… I think I’ve been preparing for this my whole life and it’s time for me to get involved.”

Hackett will formally announce her candidacy during an event Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Century Center.

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