IN THE NEWS: Sunday shows highlight angry GOP primary as Congressman Rokita claims he lacks Messer’s “baggage”

INDIANAPOLIS – The Republican Senate primary continues to be white-hot, as neither congressman on the verge of jumping into the race seems willing to miss a chance to hit the other on the statewide Sunday shows. A few weeks after Congressman Messer used IN Focus’s spotlight to attack Congressman Rokita’s character, Congressman Rokita returned the favor on his own Sunday interview. Congressman Rokita disputed his campaign’s efforts to exploit a story about Congressman Messer’s wife, which he followed up by claiming he “[doesn’t] have the baggage that Luke Messer does.”

From WTTV CBS-4 [WATCH]: IN Focus: Rokita on health care, Senate race, Russia probe

INDIANAPOLIS – In the midst of a controversial year in the nation’s capital, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) is also looking ahead to 2018, and a potential run for Senate against Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN).

Messer has been defending his wife’s legal work for the city of Fishers, which has been the subject of two recent reports from the Associated Press, reports that were forwarded to many members of the media by Rokita’s campaign team.

“Frankly, I’ve known Todd a long time and very little surprises me,” said Messer in an interview last month.

“I don’t know what that means,” said Rokita. “But I do know this: I’m going to able to keep the race focused on Joe Donnelly because I don’t have the baggage that Luke Messer does.”

Neither Rokita or Messer have officially entered the race, but this week they were hit with a complaint filed to the Federal Election Commission.

The American Democracy Legal Fund filed complaints against Rokita and Messer, claiming both lawmakers broke election law by running for the Senate before officially declaring their candidacy, a charge that Rokita dismissed out of hand.

MORE FROM CONGRESSMAN ROKITA: 

“Hoosiers have the right to know who they are electing.  The fact of the matter is, Joe Donnelly will bludgeon Luke Messer with that kind of information, and the fact [is] that the same AP story put out the fact that he doesn’t even live in the State… You mentioned the interview you all did with him – he did it by satellite. I’m sitting with you here, person to person… because Luke Messer doesn’t live in the state. I do, I’m accountable to voters and taxpayers here I live amongst them every week.”

“I do know this, I’m going to be able to keep the race focused on Joe Donnelly because I don’t have the baggage that Luke Messer does.”

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