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Local politics

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State legislator considers run against Lugar

Delph

The Republican field for next year’s U.S. Senate race might not be set.

State Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, said in an email he will make a decision shortly after Labor Day on whether to join the race.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., seeking his sixth six-year term, is being challenged for the 2012 GOP nomination by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, is so far the only candidate for the Democratic nomination.

Delph weighed in after The Journal Gazette, based on information contained in Lugar’s latest campaign finance statement, reported Sunday that Delph represents the Comcast Political Action Committee, which in June contributed $5,000 to Lugar’s re-election effort.

Delph said he has not worked for Comcast, where he had been senior director of government affairs, since 2007. He said he runs a small business named MA Advisory Group Inc.

The same filing by Lugar’s campaign organization stated that the Comcast PAC is in Indianapolis, but Delph said it no longer had an office there.

“This is an administrative oversight on our end when inputting contributions,” Emily Krueger, Lugar’s campaign manager, said in an email. “We had not received a PAC contribution from Comcast since 2005 which is why we had that address and Mike as the contact in our database.

“The PAC contribution and amount remain correct,” she said. “We have corrected the address to Philadelphia.”

Asked about prospects he might join the Lugar-Mourdock primary race, Delph referred The Journal Gazette to a statement he issued in December in which he said he was “deeply moved by the encouragement and attention” he had received amid speculation he might be a candidate.

At the time, he said about Lugar, “I have supported him in the past, but have become increasingly concerned with his actions on my behalf and on behalf of Indiana within the last few years.”

Lugar has supported the DREAM Act, which would extend citizenship to undocumented young people living in the United States. Delph wrote the state’s new immigration law, which has been held up by a lawsuit claiming it gives police broad powers to arrest immigrants.

Delph want on to say in his December statement that he and his family would make a decision about his possible candidacy for a federal office “during 2011.”

Indiana tea party groups are planning a caucus Sept. 24 in Greenfield to select the candidate they will endorse as Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate.

bfrancisco@jg.net

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