Tea Party Express Backs Lugar’s Primary Challenger (via Roll Call)

Tea Party Express Backs Lugar’s Primary Challenger

The Tea Party Express is backing Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s primary challenge to Sen. Dick Lugar (R) in 2012.

“Richard Mourdock is a true conservative with a solid record of standing up for fiscal responsibility and Constitutionally limited government,” Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the conservative group announced Lugar would be one of its top Senate targets this cycle. The Tea Party Express today threw its support behind Mourdock.

Many Indiana Republicans view Lugar as vulnerable to a primary challenge. The six-term Senator has not had a difficult re-election race since 1982.

But other Hoosier Republicans have expressed concern about whether Mourdock is up to the task after two quarters of lackluster fundraising. Support from the Tea Party Express will amplify Mourdock’s profile among national conservative donors.

The Tea Party Express made a name for itself in the 2010 cycle by supporting conservative Senate candidates such as Sharron Angle in Nevada, Joe Miller in Alaska and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. All of those candidates came from behind to win the GOP nominations in their respective races but lost the general election.

ShiraToeplitz@rollcall.com | @shiratoeplitz

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