Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks endorsed fellow Hoosier Rep. Luke Messer’s Senate bid Wednesday. She’s the first member of the delegation to publicly choose sides in what’s already become a nasty member-on-member primary war between Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita as the GOP tries to unseat the Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.
“Luke and I have been friends for a long time, and being his colleague and watching him work up close, I have no doubt he’ll make a great U.S. Senator,” Brooks said in a statement.
“Luke is a proven conservative, but more than that, he is a respected and skillful leader who builds the relationships necessary to get our shared priorities enacted into law,” she added.
As House Republican policy committee chairman, Messer is the fifth-ranking member in leadership. His role in leadership has been a target of attacks from Rokita, who’s trying to run as the more anti-establishment candidate. Brooks’ endorsement could help Rokita boost his own narrative of being the outsider candidate.
Brooks was elected in 2012, the same year as Messer. She represents a solidly Republican district north of Indianapolis. The third-term congresswoman will serve as honorary chairwoman of a “Women for Luke” team that will travel the state.