GOP rep to potential Senate rival: Don't run

GOP rep to potential Senate rival: Don't run
© 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. 
 
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"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 DonnellyUpdated fuel regulations would modernize options at gas pumps Mnuchin mum as Dems press for answers on tax reform, Dodd-Frank Overnight Defense: Senate passes funding bill | Trump to get Afghan war plan next week | Concerns grow over Army nominee 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 RyanThis week: Congress awaits Comey testimony Trump administration faces decision on ObamaCare payments Outside money pours into marquee House race MORE's (R-Wis.) leadership team.