Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Joe Donnelly has unveiled a group of Republicans who are supporting him over Tea Party candidate Richard Mourdock in the fall campaign.
The group is made up of former supporters of Republican Senator Dick Lugar, who was defeated in the GOP primary by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Its initial six members have pledged to cross party lines and support Donnelly over Mourdock in November.
Donnelly campaign spokeswoman Elizabeth Shappell says GOP voters will back the congressman due to his bipartisan approach.
“Moderate voices and folks who are wiling to compromise are too few and far in between these days. And that’s Joe,” she says. “And in order to move this country forward, he truly believes—and as do I think many folks here in Indiana—that we need to work together and find common ground.”
The announcement comes off the heels of Lugar saying he had no plans to campaign on Mourdock's behalf in the general election. The longtime Senator also declined to say if he would vote for Mourdock over Donnelly in November.
Donnlley has been running as a moderate Democrat and directly appealed to Lugar voters in the aftermath of the bitter GOP primary. The congressman has also come out against President Obama on gay marriage and criticized the administration for not taking a tougher stance on China as a currency manipulator.
The race between Donnelly and Mourdock has been described as a race towards the middle, but observers still see it as leaning Republican.