Fourth-term Rep. Todd Rokita (R) will join the primary for Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D) Senate seat. Rokita has been making obvious moves toward the race for months, so pulling the trigger isn’t a terribly huge surprise. Rokita joins fellow Rep. Luke Messer (R) in the GOP primary, and the two have been shadow-boxing for quite some time. It seems like this race will become nasty and personal; there isn’t a whole lot of ideological daylight between the two (both would be classified as establishment conservatives) so personal attacks may become prominent. The final piece of the puzzle for this primary is AG Curtis Hill (R), who is thought to be considering the race and has the potential to make a late entry and sneak up the middle if Rokita and Messer bloody each other. It’s not entirely clear yet who will be the strongest choice to take on Donnelly, but Rokita would seem to have as solid a shot to be that person as Messer does.
Rokita leaves open IN-4, an R+18 (2016) seat covering the western suburbs of Indianapolis, the Lafayette area, and a big swath of the rural northwest and west-central parts of the state, ending just shy of the Chicago exurbs. Needless to say, all the action will be in the GOP primary. Booting up the Great Mentioner, State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell (R) has roots in the seat and could be a strong contender. State Sens. Brandt Hershman (R), Randall Head (R), Ronnie Alting (R), Phil Boots (R), John Crane (R), and Michael Young (R) live in or near the district, along with about 10 GOP State Reps. Young, Hershman and Head in particular may be names to watch; Young and Hershman lost the 2010 primary for this seat to Rokita, while Head ran for AG last year, losing at the convention.