Veteran Republican Senator Lugar Soundly Defeated

Senator Richard Lugar, a 35-year Senate veteran and leading foreign policy voice, was soundly defeated in the Indiana Republican primary by a Tea Party-backed rival on Tuesday, jolting the American political establishment during a volatile election year.

Lugar, 80, was the first Senate incumbent ousted this year and his defeat showed that the anti-Washington, small government Tea Party movement is alive and well.

The veteran Senator lost to Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock by more than 20 percentage points, according to preliminary results from the state election division.

"Lugar's defeat is a wake-up call from the Tea Party to the Republican establishment," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist and chairman of CivicForum PAC, which endorsed Mourdock and contributed to his campaign. "It will make them think about how to proceed, not just in what they say but how they vote in the run-up to the (November) election."

Read more from Nick Carey and Eric Johnson at Reuters

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published this page in In The News 2012-05-09 03:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy