INDIANAPOLIS (AP)- Voters in North Carolina and Ohio kept their incumbents and those in Indiana turned to an old Capitol Hill hand -- Republican Dan Coats -- in Tuesday's primaries despite the nation's bottom-barrel support for Congress and frustration with the Washington establishment.
This fall, Coats -- who was recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee -- will face Democrat Brad Ellsworth, whose nomination is assured. The candidates are seeking the seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh.
Coats, 66, retired from the Senate in 1998, has worked as a lobbyist and was U.S. ambassador to Germany under President George W. Bush. He overcame spirited challenges from four, including state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, a tea party favorite who was endorsed by South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, and former Rep. John Hostettler, who had the support of one-time presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.
Democrats quickly piled on, calling Coats a "deeply flawed candidate" and casting him as a Washington insider beholden to special interests.
In one notable House race in Indiana, 14-term Republican Rep. Dan Burton -- Indiana's longest-serving congressman -- struggled but managed to fend off six challengers for his 5th Congressional District seat.
Elsewhere in the state, Rep. Mark Souder easily won the GOP nomination in the 3rd District after a nasty campaign; Souder will face Democrat Tom Hayhurst in the fall.
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