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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, April 06, 2017 7:30 pm

Messer campaign touts fundraising total

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

Rep. Luke Messer, R-6th, has sent another signal that he intends to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Joe Donnelly, who is up for re-election in 2018.

Messer's campaign announced Wednesday that it raised more than $700,000 in contributions during the first quarter of this year and has more than $1.6 million in cash on hand.

“The support Congressman Messer has received across the state so early in the cycle is remarkable,” campaign finance director Emily Daniels said in a statement.

Messer announced in March the formation of a statewide campaign finance committee. He would have no need for the group – or for touting his first-quarter fundraising total – if he planned to run for re-election in his safe congressional district in east-central and southeastern Indiana.

Democrats are gearing up for possible Senate campaigns by Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita, R-4th. The Indiana Democratic Party issued a news release Tuesday challenging Messer and Rokita to say where they stand on a GOP health care proposal that would let insurers deny coverage to people based on pre-existing medical conditions.