Rep. Luke Messer announces 2018 Senate bid

Rufina Vignone
Luglio 27, 2017

In a recent email blast to supporters, Messer said he was "tired of Todd Rokita lying about my family".

Indiana Republican congressman Luke Messer is shepherding a measure through the House that would ease a federal banking regulation that cuts local government's ability to invest in infrastructure. "We're in", Messer said. Pence is the vice president's brother.

Messer's most formidable primary opponent is still just a potential candidate - Fourth District U.S. Representative Todd Rokita.

The AP reported in May that Messer's wife, Jennifer Messer, earns $20,000 a month as a legal consultant for the Fishers city government. Rokita's camp fired back, calling Messer "unhinged" and a "ticking time-bomb". Messer said he owns and grew up in his mother's Greensburg house, stays there when he's in IN and has a Washington-area home so that he, his wife and their children can live together.

He also wrote that his wife "is a distinguished IN lawyer who has practiced IN IN her entire legal career", adding that "it is only fair that she be allowed to continue that work while I serve IN Congress".

Rokita has yet to formally announce his candidacy but has hired key campaign staffers for an expected Senate bid.

Rokita, 47, a former IN secretary of state, and Messer were classmates at Wabash College, graduating a year apart.

The measure was authored by Messer and New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney. That came after Rokita raised questions about Messer's decision to relocate his family to suburban Washington D.C. after his 2012 election. The nominee will be decided by voters in the May 2018 primary election and could go on to face Donnelly that November. He joins an official field that includes Kokomo attorney Mark Hurt, Carmel businessman Terry Henderson, and Purdue Polytechnic New Albany Director Andrew Takami.

"While I think a lot of the conventional thinking is that Messer is the front-runner, I think that if he is, he's not by much because of Rokita's statewide experience", Downs says.

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