Lugar Likely to Face Primary Challenger

Tea Partiers in Indiana are planning to back a primary challenger to Sen. Dick Lugar in 2012, citing Lugar’s support for the DREAM Act, the New START treaty, and his votes to confirm Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor as evidence that he’s not conservative enough. From CNN:

Hoping to head off a primary challenge from the right, Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, sat down with Tea Party leaders last month but did little to persuade them of his conservative credentials.

The two-hour meeting, which took place over breakfast on Dec. 13th at a Marriott hotel in downtown Indianapolis, was described by participants on both sides as “cordial,” but the Tea Party activists left vowing to oppose Lugar’s bid for a seventh term. “The Senator said he hoped he could earn the support of the Tea Party, and that he is conservative,” said Greg Fettig, the co-founder of Hoosier Patriots. Fettig was joined in the meeting by Monica Boyer of Kosciusko “Silent No More,” a Tea Party group in northeast Indiana.

“We obviously would beg to differ that he is conservative, and our experience is that he won’t get the support of any Tea Party group across the state,” Fettig told CNN. “This is something that has really been building for years. A lot of Tea Party people have said, ‘Who is this guy? He might as well have a ‘D’ in front of his name.’”

Katrina Trinko — Katrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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