- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2018

Sen. Joe Donnelly’s rivals are taking aim at him over news reports indicating the Indiana Democrat is set to attend a fundraiser this weekend headlined by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who Republicans have blamed for orchestrating the recent government shutdown.

The Houston Chronicle reported this week that Mr. Schumer will appear at a fundraiser in Houston on Saturday to help beef up the campaign coffers of Mr. Donnelly and Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, two of the more vulnerable Democrats up for re-election. Reps. Jacky Rosen and Beta O’Rourke, who are running to unseat Republican incumbents in Nevada and Texas, also plan to attend, according to the invite.

The campaign of Rep. Todd Rokita, a candidate for the GOP nomination in the Indiana Senate primary race, which also features Rep. Luke Messer and former state lawmakers Mike Braun, blasted out an email on Friday highlighting the event and saying it goes to show that Mr. Donnelly is one of Mr. Schumer’s biggest allies on Capitol Hill.

“Whether it is voting no on tax cuts for Hoosiers or voting no on repealing and replacing Obamacare, Joe Donnelly is with Chuck Schumer and the liberal elites in Washington, not Hoosiers,” Rokita spokesperson Nathan Brand said in the email.

The Donnelly campaign countered that the incumbent has a proven independent streak.

“Time and again, Joe Donnelly has bucked his party leadership to do what’s right for Indiana.” said Conner Klotz, spokesman for Donnelly for Indiana. “No one has to look any further than the past week, when he broke with his party to vote against a government shutdown and then crossed the aisle again to confirm Alex Azar as secretary of HHS.”

“No amount of partisan posturing will make Hoosiers forget Joe Donnelly’s record of reaching across the aisle and putting Indiana before his party,” Mr. Klotz said.

The Rokita email blast also noted a report this week in the Indy Star that said former Vice President Joseph R. Biden plans to headline a fundraiser for Mr. Donnelly next month in Indianapolis.

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