In the wake of growing criticism by his fellow Republicans, U.S. Senate candidate Marlin Stutzman’s campaign is defending its challenge of ballot signatures gathered by Todd Young.

Stutzman’s campaign filed a complaint with the Election Board saying Young did not have enough signatures to qualify to be on the ballot.  A similar challenge was filed earlier by the Indiana Democratic Party.

Outgoing U.S. Senator Dan Coats told RTV 6 that Stutzman’s behavior was “self-serving” and that he should apologize to Republicans across the state.

The Monroe County GOP Chairman William Ellis called the move desperate and endorsed Young.   We also reported hearing numerous other complaints in the most recent edition of The Cheat Sheet.

When asked to respond to the criticism, a Stutzman spokesman issued the following statement…

“I personally counted 497 verified signatures for Todd Young from the first congressional district. The paperwork filed was done so to make sure the rule of law is followed throughout this process.”

The Young campaign tells Indy Politics they have received numerous endorsements from GOP officials in the wake of the Stutzman challenge.

The Election Division will hear the challenge on Friday.