Political Notebook

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Donnelly’s desk has history

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., took Richard Lugar’s seat in the Senate this year. Now Donnelly is taking Lugar’s desk as well.

Donnelly’s Facebook page states that he “received a piece of Senate history when he was told his desk once belonged to Senators Edward Kennedy, Charles Goodell, Vance Hartke, and Richard Lugar. Joe is looking forward to continuing their efforts to find common sense solutions in a bipartisan way.”

The social media posting drew responses from 173 people who “like” it.

Donnelly’s staff later said in an email that his desk – No. 98in the chamber – had been occupied by six Republicans and four Democrats before Donnelly got it. Others who have sat at it included South Carolina Democrat Ernest Hollings and Kansas Republican Nancy Kassebaum. The current numbering system began in 1957, according to the Senate’s website.

Ben Ray, Donnelly’s press secretary, said past senators, including Lugar, have signed their names inside the desk drawers according to Senate tradition.

Lugar served 36 years in the chamber. He lost the Republican nomination last spring to state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, whom Donnelly, then a member of the House, defeated in the November general election.

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