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Tea party activists to gather

Conservative activists are gearing up this week for Christmas and the 2012 elections.

FreedomWorks said staffers will offer training Thursday night in Wabash in a campaign against Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind. Topics will include yard signs, phone banks, door-to-door campaigning and social media, according to Jackie Bodnar, press secretary for the Washington-based FreedomWorks.

Lugar, a senator since 1977, is challenged in the Republican primary by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who has been endorsed by several tea party groups, including FreedomWorks.

Tonight's event is at 6:30 to 8:45 at the Honeywell Center, 275 W. Market St.

Eight area tea party groups will have a "Country Christmas" gathering on Saturday. The speaker will be Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, who seeks the Republican nomination for governor next year.

Monica Boyer, co-founder of Kosciusko Silent No More, said the event will be 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in a heated barn at the Robert Bishop Homestead, 1865 W. Kosciusko County Road 700 North in Leesburg. Music will begin at 11:30 a.m., lunch will be at noon, and Pence will speak at 12:45 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Sponsors include Fort Wayne 9-12, DeKalb 9-12, Steuben 9-12 Patriots, Whitley County Tea Party, Kosciusko Silent No More and tea parties from Wabash, Elkhart and Miami counties.