America Rising Corp. worked with incumbent Jackie Walorski’s campaign starting in April 2018 to conduct research on Democratic challenger Mel Hall in IN-02. America Rising’s field research operation was able to find public records showing Hall living in Washington, D.C. for years before returning to Indiana to run for office. These records also revealed Hall had voted in D.C. in 2016 and claimed the homestead exemption in the District in 2017. This research was used in TV ads that directly contradicted his campaign message of being an Indiana farmer.
In October, a South Bend Tribune columnist noted the effectiveness of the opposition research in this race:
“Opposition research enables Congresswoman Jackie Walorski to portray challenger Mel Hall in a far different way than he was defining himself all summer with his TV spots about youth on a Hoosier farm, service as a minister and experience as a successful South Bend business executive…The opposition research helped Walowski to take the offensive. Hall seemed taken aback by her claims that he had been a lobbyist, that he lived in a luxury condo at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington and that he had voted in Washington…Bringing up oppo research findings about Hall for a time recently living and voting in D.C. and still having a Ritz condo there was fair game to counter his farmer-minister image.”