Political Notebook

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    The Indiana Right to Life Political Action Committee has endorsed six area Republicans seeking Statehouse office.

Libertarian enters Senate contest

Democrat Joe Donnelly might have gained 2 percentage points in the 2012 U.S. Senate race without lifting a finger.

His candidacy likely was boosted when Libertarian Andrew Horning of Indianapolis announced Friday he will seek the seat occupied by Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

Conventional wisdom holds that Libertarians draw votes away from Republicans. So it stands that Horning would hurt the Republican nominee -- Lugar or his GOP challenger, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock -- more than he would Donnelly, currently the congressman in Indiana's 2nd District.

Donnelly's campaign said Tuesday it had no comment on Horning's candidacy.

Horning received 2 percent of the vote when he ran as a Libertarian for governor in 2000 and 2008. But he attracted 44 percent of the ballots as the Republican congressional candidate in the 7th District in 2004, losing to Democratic incumbent Julia Carson, who received 54 percent.

As a Libertarian, Horning collected 4 percent of the vote in the 1999 Indianapolis mayoral election. He is product manager for a producer of medical diagnostic systems.

In his announcement for a Senate bid, Horning attributed "the endless wars, rising debts, rising crime, dropping wealth and standard of living" to voters who select Republican and Democratic candidates for federal offices.

"Today, anybody who would vote for any Democratic or Republican Party candidate has, in the words of Desi Arnaz, 'got some e'splainin' to do!' " Horning said, quoting a line by the lead actor in the popular 1950s TV series "I Love Lucy."

The Libertarian Party advocates a free-market economy, the repeal of the income tax, broad civil liberties including the legalization of recreational drugs and the use of military force only to defend the U.S. against aggression.