EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Luke Messer Responds To Indy Star Article About Past DUI's
(Photo Credit: Bill Clark/Getty Images)
Congressman Luke Messer (IN-6,) who is engaged in a rough battle for the GOP nomination for Senate, responded to an Indy Star article that questions whether he was upfront with GOP caucus members in 2003 about two DUI's he received as a young man.
Talking to WIBC host Tony Katz, Rep. Messer discussed how he became a member of the Indiana General Assembly in 2003, replacing then-Rep. Roland Stine, who was killed by a drunk driver. According to the Indy Star, Messer didn't initially mention the DUI's:
As he sought the state legislative seat in 2003, Messer decided against sharing that history with local Republican precinct leaders charged with selecting Stine's replacement. Nor did he disclose it to county or district party leaders. In fact, many of those officials didn't know about Messer's DUIs until contacted this week by IndyStar.
Tony asked him the question directly - did you try to hide the fact that you had two DUI's? Rep. Messer:
Of course not, Tony. Of course not. Look, I'm, of course, sorry about these events that happened 23 and 28 years ago. I've apologized for them long ago. Frankly, Tony, they've been litigated in past campaigns... I've always been apologetic, and I've always been contrite.
And I've had conversations with the Stine family about this. I recall it happening before the (2003) caucus, but whenever it happened, I can tell you it was one of the most important moments in my life, Tony. Because I had a conversation with the Stine family. They were incredible gracious to me. They told me that, 'No one is perfect. People make mistakes. And go on, and serve.'
Messer then went on to say that this was a "desperate attack" from "failing campaigns." Tony continued the questioning, wanting an answer to the key question of possible deception:
Tony - It is a question about your character, sir. Did you or did you not tell them? Were you ever asked if you had a DUI, and did you ever lie about it?
Rep. Luke Messer - Of course, not. Just did not happen.
Listen to the entire interview below, where Rep. Messer answers whether he has driven drunk since these events, who does he think leaked this story and does he have anything to say to the Indy Star: