Political Notebook

  • Pence taps city native for key post
    A Bishop Dwenger High School graduate was one of four deputy chiefs of staff tapped by Gov. Mike Pence last week. Sean Keefer will serve as deputy chief of staff of executive branch agencies.
  • Messer wants GOP leadership position
    Another Hoosier seeks a leadership post with the U.S. House Republican caucus.
  • Lugar Series taking applications
    The Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, a political leadership development course for Republican women, is taking applications for its next class until Aug. 1.

Politician prediction

Legislative leaders took a few minutes Thursday to tackle the upcoming election cycle at a preview of the 2012 session.

Senate Democrat Leader Vi Simpson said she believes State Treasurer Richard Mourdock will "unfortunately" turn out to be the GOP U.S. Senate nominee.

But Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said if businessman Bob Thomas gets in the race that means he will dilute Mourdock's support -- giving the nod to U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.

On the presidential side, Long made clear he has not endorsed Rick Perry and House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer said he is rooting for Newt Gingrich because "it will be a hoot."

He and Simpson agreed that President Barack Obama will be re-elected regardless.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said he looks forward to a gubernatorial showdown between GOP U.S. Congressman Mike Pence and former Democrat House Speaker John Gregg -- both former law school classmates.

He encouraged some Lincoln-Douglas style debates between the two -- on a bus "and I'll drive it."