Indiana: Businessman Takes 2nd Look at Donnelly Race

Posted December 19, 2007 at 6:41pm

Businessman Luke Puckett (R) is reconsidering a bid against freshman Rep. Joe Donnelly (D). Puckett was preparing to make a bid over the summer, but decided not to run reportedly because of family and business reasons.

“If do get back in the race, I’m in it to win the race, not just to fill the year up with campaigning,” Puckett said in a phone interview this week.

Yet Puckett stopped short of saying whether he would run for certain, citing “two items that I really want to firm up” before making a final decision in the new year.

“There are still a couple more things that need to fall into place,” he said. “But I’m just not going to make that decision until I make it through this family time the next couple weeks.”

Puckett said he reconsidered his decision about a month ago and since has had “some dialogue, but not a lot” with the National Republican Congressional Committee. He also said he was willing to put some of his own wealth into his campaign, but would not give a ballpark figure of how much.

National Republicans have been searching for a quality candidate in the northwestern Indiana district that includes South Bend. Donnelly defeated a two-term Republican with 54 percent of the vote last year; however, the district is considered reliable for Republicans in presidential and statewide contests.

— Shira Toeplitz