By Jay Zimmer

A Polymath is a person with expertise in several diverse areas.  Republican Senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock qualifies.

By education, Mourdock is a geologist.  After graduating from Ball State University in Muncie Indiana, the Ohio-born Mourdock served as a geologist for such companies as AMAX Coal and Standard Oil of Ohio.  In 1984 he accepted a position with Koester Companies of Evansville where he remained for sixteen years.

Mourdock is a licensed pilot, and an avid runner, having competed in several marathons.  He is a history buff, a former missionary to Bolivia, a budding musician, and a motorcycle enthusiast.

Mourdock’s interest in politics urged him into the Indiana “Bloody Eighth” district Republican primary in 1988, where he was defeated.  He won the nomination in 1990, but was defeated by Democratic incumbent Frank McCloskey.

In 1992, Mourdock announced his candidacy for another run at the Congressional seat, but his announcement came just minutes before a Kentucky Air National Guard C-130 aircraft fell out of the sky, striking the Drury Inn and JoJo’s Restaurant.  Perhaps understandably, Mourdock’s announcement was buried by the media among its plane crash coverage.  He was beaten by McCloskey again that fall.

Three years later, he was elected to the Vanderburgh County Commission, on which he served as president, and as a member or head of the Drainage and Zoning Boards in county government.  He chose not to run for re-election to the Commission.

Instead he sought the office of Indiana Secretary of State, but lost to Todd Rokita in the Republican primary.  Rokita went on to win the election in the fall.

In 2012, Mourdock received considerable Tea Party support in a bid to unseat longtime incumbent Republican Senator Richard Lugar who was perceived as vulnerable for the first time in his Senate career.  Mourdock claimed he was a more authentic conservative than his Rhode’s Scholar opponent, and defeated Lugar with over 60 percent of the vote.

Mourdock will take on Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly for all the marbles in the November election.