IN Focus: Messer, Rokita, Donnelly brace for midterm after busy week in the news

INDIANAPOLIS - The 2018 race for U.S. Senate is heating up before it even starts, with last week's news setting the stage for what could truly be a bruising race, both in the primary and the general election next fall.

In the video above, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) discusses his concerns about the President's decision to fire FBI director James Comey, with Donnelly now calling for a special prosecutor to handle the investigation into Russian interference in last year's election.

“There are serious questions about the President’s decision to dismiss Director Comey, while he was at the center of one of the most important FBI investigations in recent memory," said Donnelly. "The American people deserve answers regarding Russia’s interference in our election. This action should not change the pace or the extent of the investigation, and it’s clearly time to appoint a special prosecutor.”

Meantime, two Republican lawmakers considering a bid for Donnelly's seat next year are staying under the radar when it comes to the Comey news.

Both Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) were unavailable for interviews on Comey's dismissal.

Rokita did issue a statement supportive of the President's move:

“The FBI Director serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States," said Rokita. "There is nothing unprecedented, or exceptional, about President Trump’s decision to fire Director Comey.  President Clinton fired an FBI Director in 1993.  It’s unfortunate to see many who turned a blind eye to Hillary Clinton’s scandals and demanded Comey’s firing back then now feign outrage and demand investigations to advance their political agenda.  I am confident President Trump will nominate an FBI director with the managerial skills, demonstrated track record of objectivity and commitment to the rule of law necessary to move the FBI beyond the political controversies of the last year... With grave security threats at home and abroad, I hope President Trump and the Senate move quickly to nominate and confirm Comey's successor and help the FBI keep America safe.”

Messer also issued a brief statement on Wednesday.

“While it is fair to ask questions about the sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey, it would be unfair to ignore the broad consensus criticizing Comey’s poor performance in his job," said Messer. "In today’s world, we all need to hit the pause button and make sure we get the facts before jumping to any conclusions.”

Messer also made headlines last week when the Associated Press published a report highlighting his wife's lucrative job handling legal matters for the city of Fishers.