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Conservative legislator Delph won't challenge Lugar

September 14, 2011

A potential conservative challenger is taking a pass on running against Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar.

State Sen. Mike Delph said Wednesday he would stay in the Indiana Legislature and focus on raising his family. The Carmel Republican, who has five daughters, had said he was considering possibly entering the Senate race or seeking the 5th congressional district seat now held by Republican Dan Burton.

Delph's decision against joining the Senate race leaves state Treasurer Richard Mourdock as Lugar's only primary challenger. Leaders of various Indiana tea party groups organized last year to unite behind a candidate in hope of defeating 35-year incumbent Lugar. They are expected to endorse Mourdock during a Sept. 24 convention.

Delph unsuccessfully pushed during this year's legislative session for Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration in the state.

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