Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Richard Lugar Will Seek Re Election

From the New York Times

January 18, 2011, 11:35 am
Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana reaffirmed his commitment Tuesday to seek re-election to a seventh term, saying that he will not be deterred by a frustrated electorate that is intent on trying to defeat well-established Republican incumbents in their primary elections.

As several of his colleagues begin to make their plans known for 2012, Mr. Lugar said that he had not weighed the possibility of retiring from the Senate, even though he conceded that he could face “a competitive situation” in a Republican primary bid.

“I’ve been fortunate to have very good health and spirits,” Mr. Lugar said. “I’m grateful for that. I don’t take it for granted, but nonetheless, I’m excited about what I’m doing.”

In an interview with reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Tuesday, Mr. Lugar talked expansively about the global challenges facing the United States. As the ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations committee, Mr. Lugar said he was committed to keeping arms control and the relationship with Russia on the front burner on Capitol Hill.

“The relationship with the Russians is absolutely critical for our safety as a country and it’s something that I can continue to make contributions,” Mr. Lugar said. “I know the players, so this is an opportunity for me to be most productive.”

Mr. Lugar, 78, said he continued to detect a general sense of unease and unhappiness in the electorate, declaring, “They want to clean the slate.” But he hopes to draw upon a deep reservoir of support among Republicans in Indiana, who elected him with 87 percent of the vote during his last race in 2006.

“There are a great number of Americans who are genuinely angry about how things have turned out for them,” Mr. Lugar said. “Sometimes, they are unemployed or they have family members who are unemployed or they’re in situations which they feel heavy governmental restrictions of their activities.

He added, “In essence, they are unhappy about life in America and they want to express themselves.”
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Republican of Texas, announced last week that she was stepping aside. Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, said Tuesday that he was retiring. But asked whether he was absolutely committed to seeking re-election, Mr. Lugar said, “Yes, I am.”

A fund-raiser for the senator is scheduled Friday in Carmel, Ind., just north of Indianapolis, where aides said they expect about 400 people to pledge their support — and financial commitment — to Mr. Lugar.

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