Burton Barely Escapes Primary

Posted May 4, 2010 at 9:01pm

It wasn’t pretty, but Rep. Dan Burton eked out a win in the GOP primary Tuesday in Indiana’s 5th district.

Burton won nomination with 30 percent of the vote in the Indianapolis-area district, edging former state Rep. Luke Messer, who received 28 percent, in a race in which six challengers split the significant anti-Burton vote. The Congressman’s opponents accused him of being out of touch with his district after nearly three decades in Washington.

Burton acknowledged earlier Tuesday that the anti-incumbent sentiment in his district was palpable.

“I think there’s a lot of disenchantment with Washington in general, and there’s no question there’s an awful lot of people out there who are just saying: ‘My gosh. Let’s blame them all and throw them all out,'” Burton told the Indianapolis Star.

John McGoff, a former coroner in Marion County, placed third with 19 percent. McGoff’s near-defeat of Burton in the 2008 primary prompted so many candidates to run for the seat this year.

State Rep. Mike Murphy and Brose McVey, a public relations specialist and former political operative, each won 9 percent. Two lesser-known Republican candidates split the remainder of the vote.

Burton will have a far easier time in the general election because Indiana’s 5th is so strongly Republican. Burton won with nearly two-thirds of the vote in the 2008 general election.