Beware, all ye cantaloupes in Indiana — Dan Burton is coming home.
The Indianapolis Star reports that the Republican congressman, who was first elected in 1982, announced his retirement today at the Indiana statehouse.
Over time, the once-entrenched Burton has become increasingly vulnerable to a primary, and he was already facing four opponents this year. In 2008, he won by only 52%-45% in a two-way race. Then in 2010, with many more candidates running and the opposition split, Burton won renomination with a mere 30% of the vote, followed by his nearest opponent at 28%.
Burton overcame humble beginnings and a very hard childhood to become a successful real estate broker, and then a politician. After serving on and off in the Indiana legislature starting in 1966, and losing races for Congress in the early 1970’s, he was finally elected to a very safe Republican seat in 1982, where he became known as a conservative firebrand.