State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Ind.) announced Wednesday that he will not challenge Sen. Dick Lugar (R) next year.
Delph’s decision makes the six-term Senator’s path to re-election more difficult. Lugar is facing the toughest primary of his career, and polling shows his support is weak among Hoosier Republicans.
State Treasurer Richard Mourdock is already in the race, and a third Republican candidate would likely have split the vote against Lugar, aiding his efforts to win renomination.
But with Delph out of the race, it’s increasingly likely that Mourdock and Lugar will face each other one-on-one.
Delph announced his decision in a statement posted on his website.
“After much prayer and family consultation in addition to discussions with friends and supporters here in Indiana and in Washington, D.C., I have determined that my duty is here in Indiana raising my family and serving my current constituents,” Delph said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.