FISHERS – Senator-elect Joe Donnelly sounded like he was still in campaign mode the day after his election.
Rep. Donnelly, D-2nd, repeated his bipartisan mantra during a Wednesday morning news conference at a Hamilton County restaurant.
“This is about everyone in our state,” Donnelly told reporters. “This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. I’m going there to represent Indiana and to represent the hopes and dreams of everyone.
“I want to be a senator for everyone, and that’s what our tradition has been. Richard Lugar. Evan Bayh,” he said.
Donnelly on Tuesday defeated Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock to replace six-term incumbent Lugar, whom Mourdock beat in the GOP primary election. Bayh, a former Democratic senator and governor, stumped for Donnelly the last two days of the campaign.
“I am going to remain first and foremost focused like a laser on jobs,” Donnelly said, citing his support for education, tax credits, domestic energy production, reducing the national debt, improving infrastructure and “making sure China plays fair” in trade and currency.
He said keeping combat jets at Fort Wayne’s Air National Guard base is “a perfect example” of how he and Republican lawmakers from Indiana can work together in bipartisan fashion.
Donnelly received 50 percent of the vote Tuesday, and Mourdock attracted 44 percent. Libertarian candidate Andrew Horning received 6 percent.
Asked how much of an effect Mourdock’s comment at an Oct. 23 debate – that pregnancy resulting from rape “is something that God intended to happen” – had on the outcome of the election, Donnelly said: “I don’t know the answer to that. I’m not smart enough to figure that out. ... My focus is right now how do we move our country forward, because we’ve got big challenges.”
For more on this story, see Thursday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Thursday.