Auto dealer Bob Thomas is leaning toward running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in next year’s primary election, according to a political website.
Howey Politics Indiana reported Wednesday that Thomas will make a decision by Jan. 2.
“I would say it will be a yes, based on everything I know,” Thomas told Howey Politics Indiana.
The Carmel resident would become the third candidate in the GOP field, joining Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Lugar has held the seat since 1977.
Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, is the only announced candidate for the Democratic nomination.
Thomas, whose auto businesses include a Ford dealership in Fort Wayne, sought the Republican congressional nomination in Indiana’s 3rd District in 2010, losing to incumbent Mark Souder.
Thomas later finished fifth in a GOP caucus to replace Souder on the general-election ballot after Souder resigned in the wake of acknowledging an extramarital affair with a part-time staff worker.
Websites and news media reported in November that Thomas was considering seeking the GOP Senate nomination in the May 8 primary election. The conventional wisdom is that his candidacy would most hurt Mourdock, who has attracted the support of state and national tea party organizations.