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.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.