State Treasurer Richard Mourdock Resigns
State Treasurer Richard Mourdock has resigned, four-and-a-half months before the end of his term.
Mourdock's resignation letter says he's leaving "to pursue other professional interests." But sources say that like thousands of other state employees, Mourdock quit to stay ahead of a scheduled cut in the interest rate on state workers' retirement annuities.
Mourdock won two terms as treasurer, and fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in an unsuccessful attempt to block the Chrysler bankruptcy deal which denied Indiana pension funds their status as a priority creditor. But he became a national symbol of flawed Republican Senate candidates in 2012 when he trounced longtime Senator Richard Lugar in the GOP primary, only to lose the seat in November to Democrat Joe Donnelly.
Mourdock was already struggling to win back Lugar supporters when he fielded a debate question about his no-exceptions opposition to abortion by asserting that all pregnancies, "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, (are) something that God intended to happen." The resulting national furor helped lift Donnelly to a six-point victory in what Republicans had assumed was a safe GOP seat.
Governor Pence has named Indiana Finance Authority CFO Daniel Huge interim treasurer while he seeks a permanent one. The Republican nominee for the job, Kelly Mitchell, says she's asked Pence not to appoint her, to allow her to focus on making her case to voters that she deserves a full four-year term. Mitchell left her post as the head of the office's TrustINdiana program earlier this summer to concentrate on the campaign.
Mourdock's resignation means none of the three statewide officeholders elected in 2010 completed his term. Secretary of State Charlie White was forced to resign after his conviction on felony charges, while Auditor Tim Berry stepped down this year to become state Republican chairman.