Indiana News

GOP Congressional Delegation Braces for Challenge From Right Flank

Rivals court Tea Party backing against Brooks, Bucshon

11/14/2013

The battle between Republicans' establishment and Tea Party wings will play out in at least two of Indiana's congressional districts next year.

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Insurance broker David Stockdale is challenging Fifth District Representative Susan Brooks in the GOP primary, while Andrew McNeil, a territory manager for Ronnoco Coffee, takes on Larry Bucshon in the Eighth. Both charge Republicans haven't followed through on pledges to roll back government spending, and criticize the incumbents for giving in too easily in last month's government shutdown.

Bucshon actually voted against the bill to end the shutdown. McNeil suggests the vote was cast with an eye on the primary.

Last spring, the anti-tax Club for Growth put out an open call for a challenger to Bucshon, listing him among 10 Republican incumbents considered insufficiently conservative in districts carried by presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

Bucshon turned back a Tea Party challenge from Kristi Risk last year, carrying 16 of the district's 19 counties on his way to a 16-point win. McNeil argues the GOP base is angrier now, and says with no race for president, governor or senator on the ballot, turnout is likely to be dominated by the most motivated voters.

Stockdale has raised about $5,700 for his Fifth District race, compared to Brooks' $508,000. McNeil announced his campaign after the most recent financial disclosure period and hasn't filed a report -- Bucshon has a $272,000 head start.

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