Indiana: Messer Is Latest GOPer to Join Burton Primary

Posted April 10, 2009 at 5:00pm

Former state Rep. Luke Messer (R) has joined a burgeoning field of primary candidates running against 14-term Rep. Dan Burton (R).

A handful of Republicans are planning to challenge Burton in 2010, including Messer, former Marion County Coroner John McGoff, former 7th district GOP nominee Brose McVey and state Rep. Mike Murphy. Additionally, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi has said that he will run if Burton retires. However, aides for the Congressman have said he plans to run for re-election.

Messer, a former party chairman, is currently an attorney.

“We can and must do better,— Messer said in a statement. “The old ways of doing business in Washington just aren’t good enough. We need new ideas and fresh perspectives to move our country forward.—

Burton defeated McGoff by 7 points in the 2008 primary. But Hoosier political operatives say it’s unlikely that any of the candidates can defeat Burton because the crowded primary field will split the anti-Burton vote.

Burton’s district is the most conservative in the state, and GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) won the district with 59 percent in 2008. Whoever wins the GOP nomination is considered almost certain to be the next Member of Congress.