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Donnelly dines on raccoon to boost colleague

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., was among four senators who attended the annual Coon Supper on Saturday in Gillett, Ark., according to media reports.

Donnelly and Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Angus King, an independent from Maine, were offering their support for Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark. Pryor is being challenged for re-election this year by Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who also was at the supper.

Charles Babington of The Associate Press wrote that Coon Supper etiquette “requires participants to pretend to like a few bites of boiled-and-baked raccoon” before eating non-raccoon fare.

A Donnelly campaign-side worker confirmed to Political Notebook that the senator did in fact try some barbecued raccoon and relayed this comment from him:

“They said, ‘How was the brisket?’ I said it was awesome. They said, ‘How was the raccoon?’ I said it was on the plate,” Donnelly said.

The AP reported that Pryor took his senator guests duck hunting on Sunday. The Donnelly campaign aide said the group shot 14 ducks using 12-gauge shotguns.