Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) lost a primary battle Tuesday to tea arty challenger and Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock for the seat he has held since 1977.
Lugar’s defeat makes him the first and likely only senator to lose renomination this year.
After returns from the primary came in, Lugar conceded to Mourdock before a crowd of supporters. He says he wants to see a Republican in the White House and will support Mourdock in his race against Democrat Joe Donnelly for the Senate seat.
Mourdock’s supporters cast Lugar as too moderate and out of touch after 35 years in the Senate. The American Conservative Union gave Lugar a 77 percent “lifetime” rating. Lugar’s supporters claimed it hardly constituted a moderate voting record. But tea party conservatives argued Mourdock would provide more “purity” and wouldn’t bow to compromise with Democrats.