Mitch Daniels will endorse, fundraise for Tommy Thompson's Senate bid

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) is throwing his support behind former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson's (R) Senate bid, the latest good news for Thompson and latest sign that Daniels has no problem bucking Tea Party groups.

Daniels will attend a Milwaukee fundraiser with Thompson on June 25, according to an invitation to the event obtained by The Hill.

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This is the second time this election that Daniels has split with Tea Party groups — he's been a big backer of his former boss and mentor, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who appears likely to lose his Tuesday primary to Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R), a Tea Party favorite. While Daniels is beloved by many D.C. conservatives, he's shown a willingness to buck the right wing of his party — he's refused to rule out increasing taxes as part of a broader deficit reduction deal.

Thompson faces a crowded primary field that includes former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.), who has the backing of a number of national Tea Party-aligned groups including the Club for Growth. Self-financing businessman Eric Hovde (R) and Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R) are also in the race.

Daniels is the latest governor or former governor to back Thompson, who was endorsed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Monday. A half dozen other former governors have also endorsed him. He is looking increasingly secure in his primary bid since Hovde's entrance into the race, which a few Wisconsin Republicans have said has further fractured the anti-Thompson vote.