Longtime GOP Sen. Lugar Faces Stiff Tea Party Fight : NPR
Six-term Republican Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana is facing his first primary challenge since winning the job in the 1970s. The race is attracting big money from outside groups and SuperPACs, and is seen as a test of the strength of the Tea Party movement versus the power of incumbency.
The Chapel in Fort Wayne, Ind., has a high-octane choir and seemingly endless rows of pews. Last Sunday, it proved a friendly stop for Lugar. After services he could barely move a few feet before someone else came up to shake his hand, or take a picture, or remind him of that one time he spoke at their college or Rotary Club.
On the face of it, Lugar, 80, should have every advantage in this primary. He has huge name recognition, is the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has a massive political war chest. As of Dec. 31, when candidates last reported, he had millions more in the bank than his opponent.
But in recent weeks, Lugar has faced a series of embarrassments. First, a local elections board ruled he was ineligible to vote because he sold his Indianapolis home in 1977 and moved to a Washington, D.C., suburb — though the board later said he could reregister from the address of a family farm.