A political fund linked to former Sen. Richard Lugar, the Indiana Republican unseated in 2012 by a Tea Party-backed challenger, made campaign contributions to a prominent Democratic Senate candidate and to Republican senators facing primary challenges similar to his.
Lugar’s leadership political action committee, The 19th Star PAC, sent $5,000 on Dec. 12 to Michelle Nunn, the likely Democratic nominee for an open seat in Georgia, according to a filing the PAC made today with the Federal Election Commission.
Nunn’s father, former Georgia Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn (1972-97), worked closely with Lugar on nuclear non-proliferation issues. (For more on that and Lugar’s career, read this story by Bloomberg’s Laura Litvan).
Michelle Nunn, who also got a donation from former Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia, will face the winner of a crowded Republican primary for the seat of retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss.
Lugar’s PAC also made donations in November and December to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Pat Roberts of Kansas.
All were facing challenges in the Republican primary at the time of the donations. Enzi challenger Liz Cheney dropped her bid today.
Lugar, one of Indiana’s most popular and durable politicians, served in the Senate from 1977 through 2012, when he was beaten in the Republican primary by state Treasurer Richard Mourdock. Democrat Joe Donnelly defeated Mourdock in the general election.
Lugar “remains a strong voice on foreign policy issues, and his informed perspective will have broad influence for years to come,” President Barack Obama said in November, when he presented Lugar with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.