In one of the major upsets of the political season Congressman Joe Donnelly won a U.S. senate seat in Indiana after his opponent Richard Mourdoch self-destructed over comments about women and rape.

Donnelly, from South Bend Indiana, has been called the “Senator from Notre Dame” where he attended college.

When Congressman Joe Donnelly declared for the Indiana Senate race he seemed to have two chances, slim and none.

As a Democrat in a red state he was at a major disadvantage. Expected to face a popular incumbent in Richard Lugar, he seemed out of his depth.

Then the Tea Party threw out Lugar and picked hard-liner Richard Mourdock instead. Joe Donnelly went to Notre Dame from Long Island New York and never left.

He settled in as a small businessman and lawyer in South Bend Indiana and soon found himself active in the local Democratic Party.

He was elected to Congress in 2006, winning by sweeping the St. Joseph’s County vote, which includes South Bend and Notre Dame.

He is conservative by Democratic standards, and anti-abortion, except in the case of rape or incest and the life of the mother.

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