The U.S. Senate's longest serving GOP senator was defeated in Indiana's primary Tuesday, Fox59 projects.
Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock defeated incumbent Dick Lugar.
For more than 36 years, Lugar worked as a foreign policy expert. The long-time senator had recently drawn the criticism from tea party members. They questioned his convictions because of his repeated work with Democrats.
Questions regarding Lugar's residency grew in the months leading up to the primary. Challengers had argued that Lugar used the address of a home he sold in 1977 to register to vote, violating the Constitution. They said the senator has been living in Virginia for more than 30 years.
Election commissioners cited a provision in the Indiana Constitution which freezes a senator's residency once her she is elected into office.
Lawyers of both parties later agreed the senator and his wife could legally vote from a Decatur Township farm, located in southern Marion County, where Lugar’s family owns a farm.
Several other states allow defeated primary candidates to register as Independents but Indiana has a "sore loser rule," preventing Lugar from appearing on November's ballot. It disqualifies someone who has lost in a primary, party caucus or party convention from running for the same office during the same election season.
Mourdock will now face off against Democrat Joe Donnelly. Mourdock has promised to only serve two terms in the Senate if he wins the election.
The Indiana Democratic Party released the following statement Tuesday:
“Like all Hoosiers, we owe Senator Lugar a debt of gratitude for his long and storied career. From his service as a Naval Officer to the United States Senate, Senator Lugar has spent over half a century doing difficult work on behalf of Hoosiers,” said Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker.
“His successor will come into office facing a still-recovering economy and thousands of Hoosier families struggling to pay the bills. The man that won tonight’s Republican primary, Richard Mourdock, is a TEA Party extremist who is out of touch with Hoosiers. After telling the Indianapolis Star that he ‘didn’t take a pledge to support every Hoosier job’ while challenging the rescue of Chrysler, Mourdock called his attempt to kill more than 1.1 million jobs his ‘Rosa Parks moment.’
“Richard Mourdock thinks Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional, wants to cut $11 billion from funding for veterans’ care and $5 billion from Indiana students and classrooms. Hoosiers deserve real leadership that will reach across the aisle in Richard Lugar’s successor, not Richard Mourdock’s TEA Party extremism.”
President Barack Obama released the following statement Tuesday:
"As a friend and former colleague, I want to express my deep appreciation for Dick Lugar’s distinguished service in the United States Senate. While Dick and I didn’t always agree on everything, I found during my time in the Senate that he was often willing to reach across the aisle and get things done.
"My administration’s efforts to secure the world’s most dangerous weapons has been based on the work that Senator Lugar began, as well as the bipartisan cooperation we forged during my first overseas trip as Senator to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
"Senator Lugar comes from a tradition of strong, bipartisan leadership on national security that helped us prevail in the Cold War and sustain American leadership ever since. He has served his constituents and his country well, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors."