Primary challenge for U.S. Senate seat
The upcoming election seems to be one of the toughest election battles ever for the incumbent senator once considered so invincible that Democrats in 2006 chose not to field a challenger.
Recent polls have shown the Tea Party-backed Richard Mourdock, who is completing a term as Indiana State Treasurer, closing the gap against his opponent, Richard G. (Dick) Lugar, who has been in office since winning the seat in 1976, in recent weeks.
The winner in the May 8 Primary will face Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly in the November General Election.
Lugar and Mourdock faced off two weeks ago in the first and only GOP primary debate in the Indiana Senate race, ahead of the Primary. During the hour-long debate, both candidates maintained a high level of respect for the other.
Lugar and Mourdock are proponents of expanding domestic oil exploration, which they argued would lower gas prices, and for the need to reduce federal regulations and scale back the size of government.
FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth are two of Mourdock’s biggest endorsements. Lugar has the backing of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Manufacturers Association and the National Federation of Independent Business.
The Chamber has ranked Lugar’s voting record as the best in the Senate; the National Federation of Independent Business issued Lugar a perfect score 17 years in a row; and the Club for Growth ranks him 29th out of 47 Senate Republicans.
U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar
Richard (Dick) G. Lugar, 80, is the U.S. Senate’s most senior Republican and longest serving member of Congress in Indiana history. He is the Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member and former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976 and won a sixth term in 2006 with 87 percent of the vote, his fourth consecutive victory by a two-thirds majority.
Lugar graduated first in his class at both Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He attended Pembroke College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, studying politics, philosophy and economics. Lugar volunteered for the Navy in 1957, ultimately serving as an intelligence briefer for Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of Naval Operations.
A former two-term mayor of Indianapolis (1968-1975), Lugar manages his family’s 604-acre Marion County corn, soybean and tree farm.
Before entering public life, he helped manage the family’s food machinery manufacturing business in Indianapolis with his brother, Tom.
Lugar and his wife, Charlene, were married Sept. 8, 1956, and have four sons and 13 grandchildren.
For more information about Lugar, visit his website: www.dicklugar.com.
Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock
Richard Mourdock was elected Indiana’s State Treasurer in November 2006 and was re-elected in 2010, leading the Republican ticket with more than 62 percent of the vote.
In addition to his treasurer duties, Mourdock, 60, serves as the chairman of the Indiana Bond Bank, the Wireless Enhanced 911 Advisory Board and the Indiana Education Savings Authority. Mourdock also serves as the Secretary and Investment Manager of the Indiana Board for Depositories and the Trustee of the Indiana State Police Pension Plan.
Prior to his election as the 53rd state treasurer, Mourdock had a 30-year career in the private sector, managing businesses in the energy, environmental and construction industries. He also served two terms as a county commissioner in Vanderburgh County.
Mourdock, who was born in Wauseon, Ohio, is a licensed pilot, has been active in Christian Missions in Bolivia, earned a bachelor’s degree from Defiance College in Ohio and a master’s degree in geology from Ball State University. He has completed six marathons in the past eight years. He and his wife, Marilyn, live in Darmstadt.
To learn more about Mourdock, visit his website: www.richardmourdock.com.