A Tea Party-backed candidate on Tuesday ended the 36-year career of Indiana’s Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, extending a stream of victories by hard-core conservatives in GOP primaries and caucuses.
Lugar lost to GOP State Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who told MSNBC a week ago: “To the charge that there’s a special interest group that’s been supporting us from outside the state, that’s true. And the special interest group is called conservatives.”
Mourdock is the latest victor in what has been a sharp right turn by Republican primary voters.
The political right, in 2010, ousted Utah Sen. Robert Bennett, who could not muster enough support in Republican caucuses to win a place on the primary ballot. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski lost her Republican primary to Tea Party-backed Joe Miller, but came back (with support from Democratic unions and native groups) to win as a write-in.
Veteran Delaware Rep. Michael Castle, a Republican, lost his 2010 primary. In Colorado, establishment-favored Jane Norton was defeated by prosecutor Ken Buck.
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