IN-Sen: Rep. Todd Rokita (R) is in

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.

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  • rdelbov August 8, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Rokita looks like a favorite to me

  • prsteve11 August 8, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Well, at least the GOP is taking this race seriously. It’s sadly ridiculous that the Dems hold this seat.

    SC-03, Conservative Republican

    • Lucas Black August 8, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      And for that, you can thank Mr. Todd Akin.

      • fzw August 8, 2017 at 8:38 pm


        Currently MO-5. From MO-3.
        R-leaning Indy.

        • shamlet August 8, 2017 at 9:31 pm

          Though if there was no Akin Mourdock would have been headed for an easy re-election right now.

          R, MD-7. Put not your trust in princes. Process is more important than outcome.

          • Son_of_the_South August 9, 2017 at 3:07 am

            Mario Diaz-Balart is probably pretty happy right now.

            24, R, TN-09
            Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

          • Indy1975a August 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

            Hard to say. The race was pretty much tied before Mourdock made his comments. Akin would have won narrowly, Mourdock I’m not so sure.

            Independent, R until November 2016. Proud "Globalist Cuck"!

      • prsteve11 August 8, 2017 at 9:15 pm

        Agreed. However, the good news is that the current Dem-held seats in IN, WV, ND, MO and possibly MT are not sustainable for Dems to hold at least in the long run. When you consider that there are lots of red state Senate Dems but hardly any blue state Reps (really only Maine which is more of a purple state), it’s obvious that the natural equilibrium of the Senate is a healthy Republican majority.

        SC-03, Conservative Republican

        • JJC August 9, 2017 at 8:13 am

          Yep. House elections occur every two years. Senate elections every six. The senate simply hasn’t had time to adjust to the trends of many of these states.

          The conservative/blue-collar democrat is a thing of the past.

  • Izengabe August 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    I’m kind of surprised Diane Black running for Governor and opening up Chair of the House Budget Committee didnt entice him to stay in the House.

    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • andyroo312 August 9, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I see the primary as a coin flip and Donnelly winning 52-47 in the general.


  • zbigreddogz August 9, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    I’d be slightly inclined to Messer in a primary, although neither are bad guys or bad candidates.

    I just hope they don’t wind up in a murder-suicide like situation.

    • Son_of_the_South August 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Unfortunately, that’s the way it’s heading at the moment.

      24, R, TN-09
      Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

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