DeMint snubs former Sen. Coats, endorses underdog in Indiana primary

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is endorsing state Sen. Marlin Stutzman in the GOP primary for retiring Sen. Evan Bayh's (D-Ind.) seat, according to Fox News.

DeMint's endorsement comes just days after Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) backed another lesser-known candidate, Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.). Former Sen. Dan CoatsDan CoatsBipartisan gun measure survives test vote Senate panel advances nominee who Democrats blasted on Social Security Lobbying World MORE (R-Ind.) is the favorite in the GOP primary, but thanks to a late start and some less-than-outstanding fundraising numbers, the May 4 primary looks to be up in the air.

From Fox:

With the Republican primary in Indiana's US Senate race just two weeks out, candidate Marlin Stutzman picked-up an endorsement from a potential future colleague. Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina told Fox News exclueively that Stutzman was his choice in the Hoosier State's five-candidate GOP primary.

DeMint disclosed to Fox News senior producer Trish Turner late Monday about his decision to back Stutzman.

"I like Dan (Coats). I like John (Hostettler), but we need new faces here," said DeMint.

The Palmetto State Senator continued, "(Stutzman's) not as well known as the other two, but what we've seen ... (Stutzman's) won just about all the straw polls. The activists are beginning to know who he is, and that's the reason I decided to get in. I'm trying to give some spotlight to the underdogs."

DeMint, of course, is making a habit of endorsing anti-establishment conservative Senate candidates. He has already backed Chuck DeVore in California and was one of the first to back Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio: Clinton-Lynch meeting ‘raises all sorts of red flags’ Which GOP pols will actually attend the convention? Poll: Rubio holds massive lead in primary MORE over Charlie Crist in Florida. Last week, DeMint backed Weld County, Colo., District Attorney Ken Buck over former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton in that GOP Senate primary.

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