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Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, the longest serving Republican in the Senate, lost his seat in the state primary Tuesday, giving tea party conservatives a major victory.
State Treasurer Richard Mourdock trounced Lugar by more than 20 percentage points, ending Lugar’s long career. The primary vote was a bitter rebuke for Lugar, who came under fire for being out of touch with voters and for not even maintaining a residence in Indiana.
“Tonight, you did the impossible,” Mourdock told his supporters in an emotional acceptance speech.
Mourdock faces Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in November.
“My public service is not concluded,” Lugar told supporters. “I look forward to what can be achieved in the Senate in the next eight months despite a very difficult national election atmosphere.”
The soft-spoken Senator worked to create a bipartisan atmosphere in Congress, an affront to the more confrontational tea party and extreme right wing of the GOP>