Indiana Primary Update—United States Congressional and Senate Races Indiana Primary Update—United States Congressional and Senate Races

Indiana Primary Update—United States Congressional and Senate Races

As a result of a combination of re-districting and retirements, Nov. 6, 2012, will certainly bring some new faces to the Indiana Delegation in Washington, D.C. Many of these still remain contested seats with several races that are well within the margin of error and too close to call. 

The following includes an update on the upcoming races and a preview to the 113th Session of Congress. 
Congressional Races:
First District:
  • U.S. Congressman Pete Visclosky (D) was unopposed. He will face Joel Phelps (R) in the general election, where Visclosky is favored to win.
Second District:
  • Former State Rep. Jackie Walorski, who lost a bid for Congress in 2010, won in a landslide in the Second Congressional District. She may face a tough November challenge in Democrat Brendan Mullen in a district now held by Joe Donnelly. The Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. Republicans redrew the district last year to lean more toward the GOP.
Third District:
  • Incumbent Republican Marlin Stutzman was unopposed and will face Democrat Kevin Boyd in the general election. Congressman Stutzman is favored to win.
Fourth District:
  • U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indianapolis, who was uncontested, will face Tara Nelson, D-Lafayette, in the fall. The solid Republican district covers Indianapolis' west suburbs and continues northwest along I-65.
  • In the Democratic primary, Nelson defeated Lester Terry Moore, Morocco, 58 percent to 42 percent.
Fifth District:
  • Susan Brooks (former Ice Miller attorney) narrowly prevailed in a crowded field in the Fifth Congressional District's GOP primary with 30 percent of the vote. She edged out former Rep. David McIntosh by just one percentage point in the race to replace retiring Rep. Dan Burton. 
  • The Republican side also included former Marion County Coroner Dr. John McGoff, Marion Mayor Wayne Seybold, Fishers-based attorney Jack Lugar, Noblesville resident Jason Anderson, Indianapolis resident William "Bill" Salin and Matthew Mount, who dropped out of the race in March but still appeared on the ballot.
  • By late April 2012, Brooks and McIntosh began to separate themselves from the Republican pack. They led the way in fundraising and each earned national endorsements.
  • Brooks, a former U.S. attorney, immediately emerges as the front-runner in a solidly GOP district in November. She will face State Rep. Scott Reske, D-Pendleton, who soundly defeated Kokomo United Auto Workers retiree Tony Long with 64 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.
Sixth District:
  • In Indiana's Sixth District, Republican Luke Messer (former Ice Miller attorney) and Democrat Bradley T. Bookout emerged victorious from crowded fields vying for nominations to succeed Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, who is running for Indiana governor.
  • Luke Messer won an eight-person race with 40 percent of the vote in the Sixth Congressional District; his closest challenger had 29 percent. 
Seventh District:
  • Seven Republicans sought the Republican nomination in the Seventh District, which covers most of Marion County. The race was tight, with Carlos May winning with 27 percent of the vote.
  • May is Director of Latino Affairs for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. He also ran in 2010, but was defeated in the primary.
  • May is Republicans' choice to challenge U.S. Rep. Andre Carson in November, where the popular Indianapolis-based Democrat is seeking his third full term.
Eighth District:
  • U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Newburgh, warded off a repeat challenge from Kristi Risk, a tea party activist from Spencer, winning 58 percent to 42 percent.
  • On the Democrats' side, former State Rep. Dave Crooks, Washington, won with over 58 percent of the vote against Thomas Barnett, Bowling Green, 33 percent; and William Bryk, Brooklyn, N.Y., 9 percent Libertarian Bart Gadau, Evansville, previously was nominated.
Ninth District:
  • Democrat Shelli Yoder, a former Miss Indiana, beat Robert Winningham in a five-way primary to face off in the fall against U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-Bloomington, who was uncontested.
  • The Ninth District, which stretches from Johnson County to the Louisville, Kentucky, suburbs, leans Republican.
  • Yoder, Bloomington, won 46 percent of the vote to 22 percent for Winningham.
U.S. Senate Race
  • Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana lost his re-election bid in the state's Republican primary, ending the 36-year career of a GOP elder statesman and handing the Tea Party movement its biggest upset victory so far in the 2012 elections.
  • ugar was ousted by State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (61 percent - 39 percent) whose campaign against Lugar was backed by conservative groups including: Tea Party Express, Anti-Tax Club for Growth, National Rifle Association and Tea Party-Aligned Freedom Works, and by former Republican Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
  • According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks election spending, outside groups invested $4.5 million in the race.
  • "Serving the people of Indiana in the United States Senate has been the greatest honor of my public life," Lugar, 80, said in his concession speech.
  • Mourdock, 60, praised Lugar as "a truly great public servant" and moved past the negative tone of the primary. "This race is not about animosity," he said. "It is about the direction of the Republican Party."
  • Defeating a Senate incumbent is a rare feat, underscoring the significance of Mourdock's upset. Since 1980, only 11 senators have lost in their party's primary, and two of those — Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in 2010, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, in 2006 — went on to win the general election. Murkowski won a write-in campaign as a Republican; Lieberman won as an Independent.
  • The Democratic opponent is Second District Congressman Joe Donnelly. 
Ice Miller's public affairs group will continue to monitor developments leading into the Nov. 6 election. For information on these or other legislative issues, please contact a member of our public affairs group. 
Ice Miller Attorneys—Indianapolis
Ice Miller Strategies Attorney—Indianapolis
Practice Group Specialists—Indianapolis
Ice Miller/Ice Miller Whiteboard Attorneys—Columbus
Ice Miller Whiteboard Principals--Columbus
Ice Miller Strategies Attorneys—Washington D.C.
This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.
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