Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock has a new 60-second radio ad airing in Indiana, which focuses on his GOP primary opponent Dick Lugar's "36 years in Washington" and his record. (Listen to the ad here.)
The Indiana Republican primary on May 8 pits the establishment statesman Lugar, a six-term veteran of the Senate and former mayor of Indianapolis, against the conservative challenger Mourdock, the state treasurer who has garnered Tea Party support. The race has caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal's Allysia Finley, who writes today about the state of the primary, 2 weeks out:
It's hard to find a better symbol of the "Washington establishment" than Mr. Lugar, who has lived in D.C. since he was first sworn into office in 1977. But the avuncular senator is beloved by many Hoosiers—and for the very reason that tea partiers want to send him home: He's a statesman, not a warrior.
An early test of the tea party's strength this year will be whether Mr. Mourdock can unseat the iconic incumbent. At 60, the challenger is no spring chicken, nor is he a national rock star like freshman Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. But he's "capable, competent, and conservative," as he says.
Mr. Mourdock spent 30 years in the energy business as a geologist, executive and consultant. A heightened sense of civic pride spurred him to run for Vanderburgh County commissioner in 1995. Ten years later, impressed by his business background and political service, Gov. Mitch Daniels recruited him to run for treasurer. "I am known as a hard-working politician," says Mr. Mourdock. "I go everywhere in Indiana to help the local Republican parties."
Read the whole thing here.
Update: Dick Lugar's campaign responded to Mourdock's ad, noting Lugar's conservative credentials on a number of issues. "Sen. Dick Lugar fights tirelessly to protect Hoosier values," reads an email from the campaign. "He opposed the liberal repeal of the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy and supported the conservative 'Defense of Marriage Act,' ensuring Indiana does not have to recognize same-sex marriages sanctioned by other states. He was scored 100% by both the National Right to Life and the Christian Coalition."