Multiple informed and reliable Republican sources are telling Howey Politics Indiana that Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock is preparing to challenge U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in the 2012 Republican primary. Mourdock was reelected on Nov. 2, leading the ballot. "I've had a lot of Republicans telling me that I ought to look at a lot of things," Mourdock told HPI Tuesday afternoon. "It's very flattering." Mourdock said that he if told his wife he was kicking off another campaign, "the papers would be served by tomorrow." Mourdock said he wanted to take some time, clear his desk off and then see "what doors open." Mourdock rose to national fame in 2009 when he challenged the Chrysler-Fiat merger in a case that was eventually rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. Mourdock maintained that President Obama's accelerated bankruptcy deal that deprived Indiana pension funds of compensation was unconstitutional. Critics said that had Mourdock succeeded, Chrysler would have likely been liquidated, costing 5,000 jobs in the Kokomo area and tens of thousands more rippling through Indiana's auto supplier network. Despite his stand, Mourdock was the top vote getter in Howard County. There had been speculation that State Sen. Mike Delph might challenge Lugar. Another Republican, U.S. Senate primary candidate Don Bates Jr.. is also weighing a run. Bates said that many Hoosier Republicans were angered by votes Lugar cast confirming Justices Kagen and Sotomayor. He notes that U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh voted against Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito. "People in the party have become a lot more conservative than Sen. Lugar," said Bates. "They don't want compromise with the president." Lugar is Indiana's longest serving senator and was one of the chamber's more conservative members when he entered in 1977.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Mourdock May Challenge Lugar
A primary challenge from the right to Sen. Richard Lugar's re-election to an unprecedented seventh term seems more likely. Brian Howey of Howey Politics reports State Treasurer Richard Mourdock is mulling a possible run for Lugar's seat: