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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 10:25 am

FreedomWorks endorses Stutzman in Senate race

Brian Francisco | Washington editor

FreedomWorks PAC said Tuesday it has endorsed U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman for Indiana's open seat in the U.S. Senate.

Washington-based FreedomWorks says it advocates for smaller government, lower taxes, free markets, personal liberty and the rule of law.

Chairman Adam Brandon said in a statement that Stutzman "is a proven conservative who has fought to reduce regulations, restore the constitutional separation of powers, and repeal ObamaCare."

Brandon also said Stutzman and other members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus were "key to removing John Boehner" as House speaker. Boehner resigned last fall.

Stutzman, R-3rd, is competing with Rep. Todd Young, R-9th, for the Republican nomination for Senate. Former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill is the lone candidate for the Democratic nomination.

FreedomWorks PAC said Stutzman has an 89 percent lifetime score for votes regarding legislation on which FreedomWorks has taken a position. The FreedomWorks website shows that Young has a lifetime score of 72 percent. He and Stutzman were first elected to the House in 2010.

FreedomWorks communications director Jason Pye said Tuesday that the group intends to be involved in the Stutzman-Young contest.

"We're putting together our budget for this race. Much of our activity will be independent expenditures through our super PAC, FreedomWorks for America, and grassroots activity on the ground," Pye said in an email.

FreedomWorks for America spent $600,000 in support of Richard Mourdock in the 2012 GOP primary in Indiana. Mourdock defeated longtime Sen. Richard Lugar but lost the general election to Democrat Joe Donnelly.