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Donnelly defeats Mourdock, claims Lugar’s longtime seat

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Democrat Joe Donnelly celebrates with his wife Jill after winning the U.S. Senate seat over Republican Richard Mourdock at an election night celebration in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Democrat Joe Donnelly celebrates with his wife Jill after winning the U.S. Senate seat over Republican Richard Mourdock at an election night celebration in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Democrat Joe Donnelly triumphed Tuesday in one of the nation’s most tumultuous Senate races, capitalizing on fallout over his tea party-backed opponent’s comment that a pregnancy resulting from rape is “something God intended” to capture a seat that just a year ago looked to be a lock for Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.

Donnelly beat state treasurer Richard Mourdock after a bruising campaign that saw outside groups pump millions of dollars into the state in a race viewed by many as a test of the tea party’s strength.

The victory was a coup for Democrats, who had been waiting years for a shot at the seat. Lugar was so popular that in 2006 Democrats decided not to challenge him.

Even a year ago, Lugar seemed a safe bet to win a seventh term, despite widespread conservative anger with the veteran statesman’s votes on divisive legislation and his support for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees. But questions about Lugar’s residency combined with a flood of outside spending by groups such as the anti-tax Club for Growth carried Mourdock to a 20-point victory in the May primary.

U.S. Senator


Here’s how Johnson County voted in the Senate race:

Joe Donnelly (D)    37%

Andrew “Andy” Horning (L)    8%

Richard E. Mourdock (R)    55%

Democrats pounced on the opportunity as Mourdock made a series of quick missteps that alarmed more moderate Republicans. In a series of interviews the day after his primary victory, Mourdock said compromise should consist of Democrats bowing to Republican demands and stood by tea party views popular with the base of conservative voters, but not the general populace.

“To me the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else,” he said the day after the primary.

Mourdock later tried to tack back toward the middle with declarations that he could work with Democrats, but he stumbled again in a televised Oct. 23 debate when he explained his opposition to abortion except in cases in which the mother’s life is in danger.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said.

Democrats spent millions of dollars flooding the airwaves with those comments and other Mourdock statements.

For all the Mourdock campaign said about the comment not mattering to voters and arguing that the electorate was more concerned with “Obamacare” and federal spending, voters said it still weighed on their minds in the voting booth.

Kaye Young, 78, of Indianapolis voted for Lugar in the primary and said she thought it was “a shame they kicked him out.”


Here’s a look at election results from Johnson County. Note: Results from other counties not included.


President and vice president

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, R    39,136

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, D    17,080

Gary Johnson, James P. Gray, L    1,146

U.S. senator

Richard E. Mourdock, R    31,196

Joe Donnelly, D    21,056

Andrew “Andy” Horning, L    4,258

U.S. representative, 9th District

Todd Young, R    38,647

Shelli Yoder, D    17,297


Governor and lieutenant governor

Mike Pence, Sue Ellspermann, R    35,805

John R. Gregg, Vi Simpson, D    18,097

Rupert Boneham, Brad Klopfenstein, L    3,231

Attorney general

Greg Zoeller, R    40,943

Kay Fleming, D    14,820

Superintendent of public instruction

Tony Bennett, R    33,533

Glenda Ritz, D    22,440

State senator District 36

Brent Waltz, R    3,625

Mary Ann Sullivan, D    1,799

State senator District 37

Rodric D. Bray, R    12,325

Jim S. Cahill, D    4,509

State representative District 47

John Price, R    15,116

Chris Grider, D    6,293

State representative Distrct 58

Woody Burton, R    18,912

State representative District 65

Eric A. Koch, R    1,820

Al Cox, L    416

State representative District 93

David N. Frizzell, R    5,433

Ryan Guillory, D    1,933

Indiana Supreme Court

Shall Justice Steven H. David be retained in office?

Yes    31,991

No    11,894

Shall Justice Robert D. Rucker be retained in office?

Yes    33,416

No    10,452

Indiana Court of Appeals

First District

Shall Judge John G. Baker be retained in office?

Yes    33,837

No    10,002

Fifth District

Shall Judge Nancy H. Vaidik be retained in office?

Yes    35,039

No    10,051


Judge of the Circuit Court 8th Circuit

K. Mark Loyd, R    44,054

Judge of the Superior Court No. 1

Kevin M. Barton, R    43,447


Diane L. Edwards, R    44,463


Craig A. Lutz, R    44,313


Douglas K. Lechner, R    44,186

Commissioner District 1

Brian P. Baird, R    44,104

Commissioner District 3

Ronald H. “Ron” West, R    38,201

Daniel S. Hardcastle Sr., D    15,874

Council at-large

John Myers, R    39,861

Loren A. Snyder, R    39,253

Wm. Brian Walker, R    37,365

School boards

Center Grove at-large (top 2 elected)

Matt Prusiecki    6,217

Rob Richards    8,935

Carol Tumey    11,811

Clark-Pleasant at-large (top 1 elected)

Duane T. “Tom” Hogue    2,482

James W. Klenner    1,223

Howard L. Young    2,084

Vernon S. “Butch” Zike, Jr.    2,736

Clark-Pleasant, Pleasant Township

E. Curtis Harris    7,548

Edinburgh, town of Edinburgh seat

(top 2 elected)

Cathy J. Hamm    864

William F. “Bill” Jones    578

Alice Nancy Taulman    906

Franklin, City of Franklin seat

(top 2 elected)

D. Christopher Bass    2,019

Larry G. Cheek    1,911

Cory C. Cooper    1,855

Kristine Ott    3,952

Joseph Skeel    1,538

Bryan Wertz    3,618

Franklin, Franklin Township seat (top 1 elected)

Timothy J. Lavery    2,584

William A. Maschmeyer    5,194

Greenwood, District 1 seat

Joseph W. Farley    5,871

Greenwood, District 3 seat

Steve Moan    5,938

Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson, at-large seat (Waltz and one other elected)

Joseph M. “Joey” Dallas    1,766

Ed Harvey    1,194

Greg Waltz    1,715

Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson, Nineveh Township seat

Sam Hoagland, Sr.    642

Kathy Vest    832

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