HPI Exclusive: Mourdock's Central Committee supporters lose 7 of 10 seats
Friday, June 10, 2011 8:39 AM
By BRIAN A. HOWEY
INDIANAPOLIS - Two weeks ago, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock posted a list of Indiana Republican Central Committee members who supported his 2012 primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar. On Wednesday night, Mourdock lost 70 percent - seven out of 10 - of those committee members who supported him when elections were held for new congressional district chairs and vice chairs.
Of the 10 members who endorsed Mourdock, the following were defeated for reelection: 1st CD Chair Mary Ann Critser and Vice Chair Sue Landske; 2nd CD vice chair W. Edward Smith; 8th CD Chairwoman Marsha Carrington and 8th CD vice chair Richard Bramer; and 9th CD vice chair Donald Hayes. Sen. Jim Banks in the 3rd CD did not seek his chair again and supported Phil Stoller, who ran unopposed.
Bramer recently became Mourdoch's chief of staff and Diane Hubbard, who is Mourdock's grass roots coordinator, lost her bid for the 9th CD vice chair, while Howard County Chairman Craig Dunn lost his race for the 5th CD chair while county Vice Chair Judy Buck, a Mourdock supporter was elected district vice chair. Dunn, an outspoken critic of Lugar, told HPI,"There was no litmus test regarding Lugar/Mourdock in the caucus."
Bramer recently became Mourdoch's chief of staff and Diane Hubbard, who is Mourdock's grass roots coordinator, lost her bid for the 9th CD vice chair, while Howard County Chairman Craig Dunn lost his race for the 5th CD chair.
Mourdock had been touting the list of central committee supporters in addition to some 60 county chairs who support his candidacy. Lugar is actively working the party chairs. Last week he met with members of the Marion County Republican Finance Committee along with 17 elected officials.
The Lugar campaign tells HPI that there wasn't a concerted effort to defeat Mourdock supporters on the Central Committee, describing it as an "indigenous" circumstance playing out at the district level.
It is unclear how many of the new Central Committee members have taken sides in the Lugar-Mourdock race.
Mourdock supporters who survived on Wednesday night include 2nd CD Chairman Sam Frain, 4th CD Vice Chair Barbara Knochel, and 6th CD Chair Ted Ogle. National Committee members Jim Bopp and Dee Dee Benkie support Mourdock and were not up for election.
New District Chairs and Vice Chairs who were elected Wednesday night include: 1st CD Chair ChuckWilliams (Porter County) and Rebecca Holwerda (Lake County); 2nd CD Chair Sam Frain (Pulaski) and Vice Chair Deb Fleming (St. Joseph); 3rd CD Chair Barbara Krisher (Allen County) and Vice Chair Phil Stoller (Wells); 4th CD Chair Pete Miller (Hendricks County) and Vice Chair Barbara Knochel (Tippecanoe County); 5th CD Chair Kyle Hupfer (Madison County) and Vice Chair Judy Buck (Howard County); 6th CD Ted Ogle (Bartholomew County) and Vice Chair Susie Lightle (Hancock County); 7th CD Chair John Hammond III (Marion County) and Vice Chair Jennifer Ping (Marion County); 8th CD Pam Yoho (Greene County) and Vice Chair Randy Gentry (Vigo County); and 9th Jamey Noel (Clark County) and Beth Boyce (Johnson County).