After the 1980 Census, the Indiana General Assembly redistricted Indiana's congressional districts, pushing Democratic representative Floyd Fithian's district into more conservative territory. After redistricting, Fithian, the three term incumbent of Indiana's 2nd congressional district, decided to run for Secretary of State of Indiana, but withdrew from the primary to ultimately run for the United States Senate. He challenged fellow Democrat and one term Indiana State Senator Michael Kendall of Jasper, Indiana, who Fithian earlier encouraged to run for the Senate. Kendall, who represented Indiana's 47th Senate district and formed the Notre Dame Students for Robert Kennedy organization during the 1968 presidential election, was seen a young progressive alternative to Fithian, who he called the "ideological twin of Richard Lugar." After the bitterly contested primary, Fithian prevailed over Kendall, winning with 59% of the vote.