Mourdock stepping down as Indiana treasurer

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, file photo, Republican Richard Mourdock, a candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate, pauses as he speaks to supporters at an Indiana Republican Party, in Indianapolis. Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock said sunday, Feb. 27, 2013, he hasn’t ruled out another run for political office, something he said he considered after his narrow loss for a U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock has resigned four months before the end of his term.

Mourdock announced his departure Friday, saying he wanted to pursue other professional interests. The two-term state treasurer was barred by state law from seeking a third term.

The tea party favorite defeated longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in the 2012 Senate primary but has often been a lightning rod for criticism.

Many questioned his decision to spend millions to challenge the Chrysler bankruptcy in 2009.

He drew fire in a Senate debate for saying a pregnancy that resulted from rape was “something God intended.”

He also upset many of the GOP faithful again in June when he compared the handling of the national economy to the events leading up to Germany’s 1936 elections under the Nazi regime.

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