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Posted at 4:09 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Supporter says Mourdock to announce Lugar challenge on Feb. 22

By Aaron Blake

Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock will announce a primary challenge to Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) on Feb. 22, according to an e-mail from a Mourdock supporter.

Ted Ogle, the 6th district chairman for the Indiana Republican Party and Bartholomew County Republican Party chairman, said in an e-mail to supporters that he spoke with Mourdock on Friday morning and learned of the state treasurer's plans. He said he will be endorsing Mourdock.

"He will be announcing Feb. 22 his run for US Senate in a primary against Senator Lugar," Ogle said. "With respect to Senator Lugar, Richard is my friend. For what it's worth I will be announcing my support that same day."

Ogle confirmed to The Fix that he wrote the e-mail.

A source close to Mourdock confirmed that there will be an announcement on Feb. 22 but wouldn't confirm that Mourdock will run for Senate.

Mourdock's intentions were first reported earlier this week by Politico, but this is the first time a Republican Party official has confirmed his plans publicly and given a specific date.

Since the 2010 election and even before, tea party leaders in Indiana have been looking for someone to take on the longtime senator. Tea partiers in the state are generally unhappy with the senator's voting record and have vowed to defeat him.

State Sen. Mike Delph has also been mentioned as a potential Lugar primary opponent.

By Aaron Blake  | February 4, 2011; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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