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February 15th, 2012
Although the political spotlight is on Michigan’s Feb. 28 primary right now, there’s another good political story bubbling in the Great Lakes states.
Richard Lugar, who turns 80 in April, has been one of Indiana’s U.S. senators as long as a lot of people have been alive. He was first elected to the Senate in 1977, and he’s served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee twice. Before he was elected to the Senate, he was mayor of Indianapolis.
But Lugar, a Republican, may face a stiff challenge from within his own party. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Club for Growth, an influential conservative group, is endorsing Lugar’s primary opponent, Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.
The Club’s president, Chris Chocola, questioned some of the votes that Lugar has taken on fiscal issues in Washington.
Lugar voted in favor of a Congressional bailout for Detroit automakers, and more recently, the Indiana senator opposed a ban on earmarks that was pushed for by Republicans in the Senate.
Lugar’s internal polling shows him well ahead in the Indiana race, according to the Tribune. But if he were to face a tough challenge, or even lose the Senate race, it could be a blow to President Barack Obama. He has cited Lugar as one of his good friends when he was in the Senate, even though the pair are from different parties.