The Indiana Election Commission has rejected a challenge to Senator Richard Lugar’s residency. Tea party backers of Lugar’s primary opponent Richard Mourdock had questioned Lugar’s right to run again, because he sold his Indianapolis home in 1977.
Two of the four election commission members say they are troubled that Lugar does not have a current Indiana address — but all four agree that he is legally a resident. Lugar‘s attorney Wayne Turner says the Indiana constitution “freezes” your residence if you are elected to congress. Your address then remains your address until your time in Washington ends. He notes Attorney General Greg Zoeller‘s office offered the same interpretation.
Commission Chairman Dan Dumezich, who notes he has donated to both Lugar and Mourdock in the past, says past cases have held that a candidate‘s intent is paramount in determining his residency. He says the fact Lugar has maintained his Indiana driver‘s license and sought guidance from the attorney general on three different occasions is evidence he intends to retain his Hoosier residency.
Attorney Eric Bohnet, representing a voter who challenged Lugar’s eligibility, says he hasn‘t ruled out going to court. Otherwise, he says he fears democrats will revive the issue if Lugar wins a seventh term, to try to overturn the result.