Sen. Richard Lugar’s 36-year Senate career is now history.
Lugar was defeated in today’s Republican primary election by Treasurer Richard Mourdock, ending his bid for a seventh term in the U.S. Senate.
It wasn’t even close.
With 70 percent of the vote counted, Mourdock had 60 percent to Lugar’s 40 percent.
Mourdock will face Democrat U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andy Horning in the November election.
This is not really a surprise.
Senator Richard Lugar was too old, too establishment, too liberal for Indiana and stayed in office way too long. Indiana voters just wanted somebody else and a Senator who more closely identified with them.
Here is a video highlighting Senator Lugar’s career:
As I have said for months, the handwriting was on the wall, it was time for Lugar to retire.
Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, speaks with reporters off the Senate floor before a series of votes on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lugar’s allies have largely disappeared from the television airwaves just days before Tuesday’s primary, a sign that even friends of the six-term Republican think he’s in trouble and could lose to tea party-backed challenger Richard Mourdock
Richard Mourdock: Every Year, Congress finds new ways to spend our money… and Sadly, Senator Lugar went along with it: voting for the Bridge to Nowhere, a rainforest in Iowa, even a teapot museum. When Senator Lugar recently had the chance to stop wasteful earmarks, he voted no. We’re fifteen trillion in debt and it has to stop. I’m Richard Mourdock and I approve this message because Dick Lugar won’t vote to end wasteful spending and earmarks. I will.
Indiana deserves a conservative U.S. Senator who actually lives in Indiana.
Richard Lugar has served his state and country for decades, but it is time for him to go.
A new poll conducted for the Club for Growth showed Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) and his primary challenger, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, in a statistical dead heat.
Mourdock had a small advantage over Lugar, 34 percent to 32 percent, in the Basswood Research poll released Tuesday. But Mourdock’s 2-point lead is within the poll’s 4.4-point margin of error.
The conservative, anti-tax organization has not endorsed Mourdock, but the Club for Growth President Chris Chocola has frequently criticized Lugar’s record. Earlier this month, the club sponsored television advertisements blasting Lugar across Indiana.
“An incumbent who sits at 32 percent in his own party’s primary, and trails a much less known challenger, is in a world of trouble,” Chocola, a former Indiana Congressman, said in a statement. “Senator Lugar is a very decent man, but it’s clear from the poll that after 35 years, Hoosier Republicans are eager for a more conservative alternative.”
About one-third of those polled, 34 percent, said they were undecided about the GOP Senate primary field.
Basswood Research conducted the poll of 500 likely Republican primary voters July 23-24.
Richard Lugar is in trouble and although he has a ton of campaign cash, money will now flow to the Tea Party favorite and younger Mourdock.
Lugar’s political bulwark is his home city of Indianapolis. Within a two-mile radius just south of downtown you can find three stadiums — including NFL and NBA venues — two major interstates radiating out across the compass, critical Internet and cyber optic terminals, and one of the largest insulin manufacturing sites in the world. A cataclysmic nuke strike in Lugar’s backyard would devastate the American security psyche.
The rap on Lugar that prompted a Tea Party-induced rebellion at what many believed would be his valedictory political run into the defining realm of statesmanship was that his globe-trotting had eclipsed his domestic political operations back home. They want Lugar at Lincoln Day dinners instead of seeking security solutions to padlocked anthrax labs in Kampala and Nairobi, or securing Soviet-era nukes and sarin that could destroy our cities.
Mourdock told The Hill early this month, “People in Indiana want to see fiscal controls, they want to see someone who’s with them regularly back there, not just someone sitting in Washington, D.C., thinking about the lofty issues of foreign affairs.”
Mourdock’s problem today is that at a time when he needed to stand and deliver, his second quarter FEC report turned out to be a political nuke.
Heading into the June 30 FEC deadline, the conventional wisdom is that he needed to report somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million to get into the money game and attract national support. But what happened to the Mourdock campaign in June is as potentially devastating as Jill Long Thompson’s extremely low profile after she won the Indiana Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2008.
Mourdock’s June swoon went like this: On June 8, seven of 10 members of the Indiana Republican Central Committee who endorsed Mourdock were replaced during reorganization. His chief of staff, Richard Bramer, lost a race for 8th CD vice chair, and his field coordinator, Diane Hubbard, lost her bid to be 9th CD chair.
Senator Richard Lugar has delivered the goods to Indiana and if Mourdock does not raise the funds will be re-elected to another 6 year term at age 80.