Rep. Messer ‘taking very seriously’ a potential 2018 U.S. Senate bid as Indiana’s race quickly heats up

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Rep. Luke Messer

INDIANAPOLIS – The politicos of Indiana have quickly turned their attention to the 2018 midterm elections, specifically Indiana’s U.S. Senate race.

In an interview with FOX 59 Tuesday, Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) said he hasn’t ruled out a bid in an attempt for Republicans to unseat Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.

“I’ve certainly been encouraged by many to take a hard look at running for the U.S. Senate,” Messer said. “It’s a process we’re taking very seriously as a family, but we’re not ready for any announcements today. Right now we’re focused on the first 100 days of this new presidency and this new Congressional team.”

Also Tuesday, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) left the door open for a potential run.

“Sen. Donnelly needs to quickly decide if he is going to work with President Trump and Republicans to get the country back on track, or if he is going to continue obstructing efforts to make America great again,” Rokita said in a statement to FOX 59. “If he decides to stand with Chuck Schumer and Washington liberals against Hoosiers, we will be able to choose a new conservative senator in 2018, and I will continue to evaluate the best role for me in that effort.”

On Wednesday Kokomo attorney Mark Hurt is set to begin a statewide series of kickoff events in Indianapolis, officially announcing his bid. Hurt has previously worked in Washington D.C. for both former Congressman Fred Grandy and former Sen. Dan Coats, his campaign bio said.

Meantime Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) officially took her name out of the running this week.

“Our country has many challenges and opportunities ahead, and I love and am focused on being a strong leader for the Fifth District in Congress,” Brooks said in a statement to FOX 59.

Donnelly has hired Peter Hanscom as campaign manager for his re-election bid.

“I am running for re-election in 2018 so I can continue working non-stop on behalf of Indiana families,” Donnelly said in a statement announcing Hanscom’s hire earlier this month.

Donnelly is already the target of a number of conservative groups including the Judicial Crisis Network, which announced earlier this month it would target “vulnerable senators up for re-election in 2018 like Joe Donnelly and Claire McCaskill.”

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