Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock to challenge Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., in GOP primary? 

Ben Smith gets the scoop that Dick Lugar, the moderate Republican senator from Indiana, is likely going to get a primary challenge next year:

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock is taking the steps to formally launch a primary challenge against six-term Sen. Richard Lugar in the coming weeks, according to multiple Republicans familiar with his thinking.

Mourdock, a former county commissioner who won the treasurer's office in 2006, has been solidifying his plans by reaching out to campaign operatives and vendors and was in Washington this week to touch base with a coterie of players who could aid his insurgent bid.

"Mourdock is meeting folks around town. He was here yesterday. I’m expecting a public announcement very soon," one conservative operative told POLITICO.

Offered another GOP player, "I understand Mourdock is planning to jump into the race soon. Sounded like weeks, not days."

Inquiries to Mourdock's offices were not immediately returned.

Mourdock has to be formidble competition. As state treasurer, he's worked hand-in-glove with the popular Daniels administration, and having intervierwed him in the past, I can vouch for the fact he has an impressive command of policy. Mourdock can credibly appeal to Tea Partiers as a conservative, but his record as treasurer gives him a lot of mainstream credibility.

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