Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Senate Primary Face-Off Mourdock, Lugar Fight On

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Senate Primary Face-Off Mourdock, Lugar Fight On

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - As the countdown to Tuesday's Republican U.S. Senate primary shifted from days to hours, both sides were focusing on what the race's outcome means this fall and beyond. Six-term incumbent Richard Lugar said a victory by his challenger, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, would open the door for the Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, to swipe the seat from Republican hands.

Mourdock's campaign shot back that Lugar's refusal to pledge his support for the GOP ticket, no matter who wins the race, demonstrates why it's time to boot him from office.

Meanwhile, the Indiana Democratic Party held a major spring fundraiser Friday featuring U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., where Donnelly and others took aim at Mourdock, the man they see as their likely opponent.

In an email to supporters, Lugar said the reason to vote for him is simple: "Democrats understand Joe Donnelly will beat Richard Mourdock."

"Not only would a Joe Donnelly victory mean that Indiana would be represented by a man who supported Obamacare and Obama's stimulus, but it would also give Democratic Party Majority Leader Harry Reid another vote in the Senate," Lugar wrote.

"This is serious. Losing our Indiana Senate seat to the Democrats is not a risk that Republicans can take."

In a news conference Friday, Lugar said he's "making no comment" about who he might endorse if he loses Tuesday, because "I'm going to win. I'm working for victory on Tuesday."

It might be hard for Lugar to help Mourdock, anyway, if he were to lose. He's repeatedly called Mourdock "unqualified."

Still, Mourdock's campaign says Lugar ought to pledge his support for Republicans.

"Senator Lugar has refused to quell concerns that the once- great statesman's final act as a senator will be going rogue and supporting a liberal Democrat like Joe Donnelly," said Mourdock campaign spokesman Chris Conner. …

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