U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana was defeated in the Republican primary by a wide margin, a 20-point loss. After Lugar's '36 years in the Senate, Indiana's GOP selected Richard Mourdoch, the state's treasurer, to succeed him.
While many focus on the narrative that Lugar's "moderate" record made him a target among conservatives looking down the collective ticket in this presidential election year, a few facts are too easily ignored.
Lugar had an earlier skirmish with the local election commission where his voter registration had remained, linked to the family farm in Indianapolis. The problem: Lugar and his wife sold that farm in 1977 and moved to McLean, Va. His voter registration had been based on ownership of a piece of real estate from three and a half decades ago.
An "agreement" was reached that permitted his voter registration to remain active in Marion County, Ind., according to news reports.
Subsequently, a challenge was made to the incumbent's name appearing on the Indiana ballot as a qualified candidate. The Indiana Election Commission ruled in Lugar's favor based on its interpretation of state law. Acknowledging his residence was in the state during his first election, he was given ballot access.
U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar is a good man. He has served his state with distinction and received many accolades. Sadly, the power of the incumbency eclipsed the need to honor not only the letter, but also the spirit, of the law.
Servant leaders do not make efforts to elude those they represent and distance themselves from the citizenry.