Longtime Indiana U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar’s loss in Tuesday’s Republican primary, which has caused concern and regret among some of his colleagues, met with a more sober response from Rhode Island’s delegation.
“A fine gentleman,” U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said of Lugar in a brief comment emailed to WPRI.com.
A spokesman for his fellow Democrat and junior colleague, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, said: “Sheldon respects Senator Lugar as a distinguished leader in the Senate, and appreciates his personal kindness and generosity.”
Barry Hinckley, Whitehouse’s Republican opponent this year, described Lugar’s loss as “proof positive that voters are looking for fresh faces in Washington, D.C.”
“While I thank Senator Lugar for his service, his primary defeat is a warning shot to career politicians of both parties that their days are numbered,” Hinckley told WPRI.com. “I have been a vocal supporter of term limits, because it is time for a new type of bipartisanship – the sort that protects the interests of voters, not the interests of the status quo in Washington.”
“Let’s hope that the rest of the country follows Indiana’s lead and fires the career politicians this November,” he added. A February WPRI 12 poll gave Whitehouse a 22-point lead over Hinckley among registered voters.
This post has been updated and revised with a comment from Senator Whitehouse.