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Congressman Donelly To Focus On Economy

Last updated on Tuesday, May 10, 2011

(PLAINFIELD, IN) - Second District Congressman Joe Donnelly says he’ll focus on the economy in a challenge to Republican Senator Richard Lugar.

Before Lugar even gets to Donnelly, he has to survive a Republican primary against State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

Donnelly declined to pinpoint any differences with Lugar, saying he has "great respect" for the longtime Senator.

But he did take a shot at Mourdock's court battle over the deal which whisked Chrysler through a prepackaged bankruptcy.

Mourdock argued unsuccessfully that the deal went against decades of bankruptcy law by glossing over the preferred-creditor status of Chrysler bondholders a list that included Indiana's State Pension Funds.

Donnelly says he considered a run for governor before settling on the senate race.

A redrawn district would have left him with a tough fight for reelection.

Donnelly acknowledges he had a chance to review the new map before reaching his decision, but maintains he ultimately based the choice on how he could best serve the state.

Republicans were quick to draw comparisons with former Congressman Brad Ellsworth, another Indiana Democrat who touted his centrist and independent credentials but got swamped by 15 points by Republican Dan Coats in last year's Senate race.

Donnelly says every race is different, with 2010 about the worst possible environment for democrats.

2012, he predicts, will be better.

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