Mourdock defeats longtime Sen. Lugar in Indiana primary
Richard Mourdock has won the Republican nomination for US Senate, knocking longtime Sen. Richard Lugar out of the running.
"You get ready for a moment like this and over the last few weeks I've been trying to anticipate what this would be, because I've had this tremendous sense of momentum. And yet I have to say, every time I would start to have that feeling that we're gonna be there, we're gonna be victorious, I would remind myself that this hasn't been about me. This has been about all of you! You got this done!" an emotional Mourdock told supporters.
Mourdock joked that he would have to ad lib his speech, which "in the excitement of the moment I walked off and left the speech in my apartment."
Mourdock, who is currently Indiana's state treasurer, asked supporters to recognize his rival as a great public servant.
Lugar conceded the election in a speech shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday.
"I congratulate Richard Mourdock on his victory in a hard-fought race," Lugar said. "I want to see a Republican in the White House. I want to see my friend Mitch McConnell have a Republican majority in the Senate. I hope that Richard Mourdock prevails in November, so that he can contribute to that Republican majority in the Senate."
It marks a big victory for the Tea Party, which learned its lessons after failing to narrow the field against Sen. Dan Coats. Tea Party supporters rallied around Mourdock to see a resounding success Tuesday.
Lugar is one of the longest-serving senators - and he's also served more terms than any other Indiana senator. But the respect he's earned on both sides of the aisle eventually was his undoing as voter frustration over the economy and other issues snowballed.
"My public service is not concluded. I look forward to what can be achieved in the Senate in the next eight months, despite a very difficult national election atmosphere," Lugar said in his concession speech. "At the end of my term, I will look forward to new opportunities to serve Indiana and to serve our nation.
"I have no regrets about running for re-election. All of us should believe in the nobility of standing before the public and asking for their vote, even if doing so can be a very daunting task. I still counsel young citizens to consider elective public office and I hope some listening to me tonight will do just that. Serving the people of Indiana in the United States Senate has been the greatest honor of my public life."
Mourdock's victory could breathe new life into Indiana's Democratic party, which has struggled to find its way since former Sen. Evan Bayh retired.
President Barack Obama issued this statement about Sen. Lugar:
"As a friend and former colleague, I want to express my deep appreciation for Dick Lugar's distinguished service in the United States Senate. While Dick and I didn't always agree on everything, I found during my time in the Senate that he was often willing to reach across the aisle and get things done. My administration's efforts to secure the world's most dangerous weapons has been based on the work that Senator Lugar began, as well as the bipartisan cooperation we forged during my first overseas trip as Senator to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Senator Lugar comes from a tradition of strong, bipartisan leadership on national security that helped us prevail in the Cold War and sustain American leadership ever since. He has served his constituents and his country well, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors."