GOP establishment-backed Rep. Todd Young defeated tea party favorite Rep. Marlin Stutzman Tuesday night after a heated primary campaign for Indiana’s open U.S. Senate seat.
Young racked up 67 percent of the vote to Stutzman’s 33 percent with 4,715 of 5,374 precincts reporting.
In the fall, Young will face former Rep Baron Hill, who was unopposed for the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Dan Coats.
Young and Hill are expected to spar over such issues as health care, trade, climate change, environmental regulations, anti-discrimination protections for gays and lesbians, Social Security and other federal spending priorities.
By contrast, the Republican primary race brought out few policy differences between the candidates.
Instead, the race turned more on Stutzman’s record of challenging his own party leaders and Young’s argument that he had more to show for their nearly equal amounts of time in the House.
Stutzman blamed his primary loss on Young’s attack ad and the heavy spending by outside groups supporting Young.
Stutzman’s ads accused Young of having been bought by special interests and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent more than $1 million on ads helping Young, as did groups with ties to McConnell.
Stutzman had the backing of outside groups which had spent heavily in the 2012 primary in which GOP tea party challenger Richard Mourdock defeated incumbent Richard Lugar. But neither the political arm of the Club for Growth nor the Senate Conservatives Fund spent much to help Stutzman. (Read More)