3 longshot US Senate hopefuls file for Indiana primary race

Three longshot U.S. Senate candidates have filed with Indiana election officials to join the May primary ballot, although their names might not ultimately be listed.

Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.

Sen. Todd Young

Republican Sen. Todd Young and Democratic Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. appear to have safely met the state requirement for filing petitions signed by at least 500 registered voters from all nine congressional districts by Friday’s deadline.

Potential Republican challenger Danny Niederberger, an accountant from Westfield, said his campaign wasn’t able to submit its petitions from the 7th District in Indianapolis because the Marion County Clerk’s Office, which needed to verify the signatures, was closed Friday because of the winter storm.

The state election commission is scheduled to meet Feb. 18 to consider any challenges to candidate eligibility. Niederberger said he would argue his case if he was challenged.

The campaigns of Democratic hopefuls Haneefah Khaaliq, executive director of Gary’s Human Relations Commission, and Indianapolis psychologist Valerie McCray didn’t immediately comment on whether they believed they had qualified for the ballot.

McDermott campaign adviser Kevin Smith said the campaign would look closely at whether Khaaliq and McCray met the ballot requirements.

Avoiding a primary challenge could benefit McDermott, as he entered this year with about $50,000 in campaign cash, while federal records show Young had nearly $6.2 million for his reelection campaign.

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