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Mourdock not gone but forgotten

U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor mentioned a 2012 national election “that didn’t go our way” during his speech Monday at the Allen County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Cantor was referring to the GOP’s loss in the presidential race and the party’s failure to win a majority of U.S. Senate seats.

Cantor did not mention Richard Mourdock by name, and neither did anybody else – even though Mourdock is the state treasurer and was attending the dinner a year after he was a featured speaker at the event. The Journal Gazette noted Mourdock’s attendance in its coverage of Cantor’s speech.

Mourdock defeated 36-year incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar – the other featured speaker at last year’s dinner – in Indiana’s Republican primary electionl ast May but lost to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the general election. Mourdock’s defeat was blamed in large part on his comment at a candidates debate that pregnancy resulting from rape “is something that God intended to happen.”

County GOP Chairman Steve Shine accepted all blame for failing to introduce Mourdock to the crowd at Ceruti’s Summit Park when Shine was identifying political figures in attendance.

“I am embarrassed by it,” Shine said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “I not only knew he was there, I talked to him at length.”

Shine said things were hectic for him because he had arrived late at the event after attending an off-site campaign fundraiser for Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, that featured Cantor. Shine was trying to fix a sound-production problem when he and Mourdock greeted each other, but the party chairman said he forgot to write Mourdock’s name on the list of people he would introduce after the meal.

Shine said he had an “uh-oh” moment when he realized the omission while driving home after the dinner.

“And I apologize,” he said, adding that Mourdock “did well in Allen County” in the November election and “continues to be a friend of Allen County.”