A wealthy Indiana Republican is reportedly thinking about entering the primary to challenge Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.).
Auto dealer Bob Thomas is making calls about a bid and intends to make a final decision after the Thanksgiving holiday, Howey Politics Indiana, a local politics newsletter, reported this week.
Lugar already faces a tough primary challenge from state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. A Thomas bid could boost the six-term Senator’s chances of winning re-election by splitting the anti-Lugar vote in the May GOP primary.
Mourdock initially garnered a great deal of attention and support when he kicked off his bid against Lugar, but the challenger’s campaign struggled with fundraising. Mourdock had only $292,000 in the bank at the end of September, while Lugar had $3.8 million.
If there’s one thing Thomas could bring to the race, it’s cash. Thomas dumped almost $600,000 of his own money into his failed primary challenge against then-Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) last year. He came in second, trailing Souder by about 14 points, in a four-way primary.
After the primary, Souder resigned following his admission that he had an extramarital affair with a part-time staffer. Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R) succeeded Souder.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.