© Greg Nash
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), who is eyeing a bid for Senate in 2018, called on his top primary rival and fellow congressman to skip a Senate bid of his own in an interview published Thursday.
Speaking to Brian Howey's Howey Politics, a major political blog in Indiana, Rokita said that he thinks that it would be smarter for Rep. Luke Messer to stay in Congress and keep advancing through House leadership.
"Hopefully Luke doesn’t run because that’s exactly right. ... He has a terrific pathway to help the state of Indiana. He could be majority leader, he could be Speaker. That’s not a path I’m on," Rokita said.
“The way I’m looking at this, how can you best help Indiana? What can you best do? If I’m going to leave a 7-year-old, a 9-year-old and my beautiful, talented wife every week, how can I add the most value?”
Rokita and Messer are considered the top two potential Republican recruits to challenge Democratic Sen. Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyGOP rep to potential Senate rival: Don't run Trump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Senate Dems target potential GOP candidates over ObamaCare repeal MORE. Both men have considerable campaign funds ready for a potential bid, so a decision by either to forgo a potentially expensive primary battle would boost the GOP's chances in the general election.
Messer currently serves as the House GOP policy chairman, a powerful position for a third-term congressman as a part of House Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanFive fights for Trump’s first year Sunday shows preview: Trump stares down 100-day mark Ryan: Focus is on keeping government open, not healthcare MORE's (R-Wis.) leadership team.