Indiana’s U.S. Senate Republican primary contenders Richard Lugar and Richard Mourdock will meet for their only debate Wednesday.
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,” he says.
Fisher downplayed the debate’s importance, saying it’s just one part of the overall campaign. But 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.
Fisher says the debate provides Lugar the opportunity to remind people why he continues to be the right person for the job.
The debate is sponsored by the Indiana Debate Commission and presented by Indiana’s Public Broadcasting Stations. It begins Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. WFIU is live streaming the audio of the event and hosting a live chat beginning at 6:30 p.m.