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Popular Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) kicked off a series of fundraising events to help embattled Sen. Dick Lugar (R) last week, according to the Senator’s staff.
Daniels had previously stated his support for Lugar, but last Wednesday he gave the Senator his full-throttled endorsement at an event for fellow Republicans in Carmel, Ind.
The governor brought in $70,000 for Lugar’s campaign in what the Senator’s spokesman, David Willkie, characterized as the first in a series of fundraising events.
Lugar faces a stiff challenge from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the May 8 primary.
Local and national conservatives targeted Lugar from the start of the cycle, but Mourdock’s campaign struggled, especially with fundraising.
Lugar raised $750,000 in the final quarter of 2011. A spokesman for Mourdock said he plans to release his quarterly fundraising totals later this week.
Most high-ranking GOP officials in the Hoosier State, including House Members, have stayed on the sidelines for the primary. But Daniels and Lugar have a shared history dating back to the 1970s, when the governor worked on Senator’s first races and served as his top aide on Capitol Hill.