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Lugar and Mourdock debate Wednesday night

Indiana’s U.S. Senate Republican primary contenders Dick Lugar and Richard Mourdock will meet for their only debate Wednesday.

Six-term incumbent Senator Richard Lugar has not faced a primary challenger since he was first elected in 1976.  State treasurer Richard Mourdock brings the challenge with significant Tea Party backing, and that has resulted in an onslaught of negative ads from both sides.

Lugar campaign spokesman Andy Fisher says the Indiana Debate Commission’s format offers a chance to get away from the negative campaigning. 

“They take questions from voters and screen those questions to attempt to get to the real issues that are important today.”

Fisher downplayed the debate’s importance, saying it’s just one part of the overall campaign.

However, Mourdock says the single debate is key to introducing himself to Hoosiers.

“Well, I hope when, after people watch the debate, when they read the news coverage over the next several days, people are saying, ‘Well, I didn’t know much about this Mourdock guy, but I like the way he thinks.  He’s clearly informed and he’s somebody that I can have faith and confidence in.’”

Mourdock says he plans to point out the differences between him and Lugar.

Fisher says the debate provides Lugar the opportunity to remind people why he continues to be the right person for the job. 

You can hear the debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday night on AM920 WBAA or online at


Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.