After crashing and burning in Indiana four years ago, the Club For Growth is taking another stab at using the Republican-leaning state to elect a senator sympathetic to its conservative, free-market principles.

The club on Friday announced its endorsement of Rep. Marlin Stutzman, 38, a conservative insurgent first elected in 2010 who has occasionally played ball with the party establishment but generally been in a thorn in the side of House leadership. Indiana's 2016 GOP Senate primary pits Stutzman against Rep. Todd Young, 42, also first elected in 2010, who has been the more prolific fundraiser.

Four years ago, the Club For Growth backed Richard Mourdock in the Hoosier State, and succeeded in ousting longtime incumbent Sen. Richard Lugar in the GOP primary. But Mourdock blew an easy win in the general election because of untimely comments about abortion that turned off the state's conservative yet pragmatic electorate, and that turned a sure pickup for the GOP into a win for now-Sen. Joe Donnelly and a hold for the Democratic Party.

In 2010, Stutzman ran for the Senate seat but lost the Republican primary to Dan Coats. After the resignation of Rep. Mark Souder, Stutzman was chosen as the Republicans' replacement candidate and he was then elected to the House.

In a statement provided to the Washington Examiner for this story, Club For Growth President David McIntosh conceded that Mourdock was a flawed candidate, and emphasized that his organization believes that, this time, they've picked a candidate who can win the general election.

"The Club's PAC has absolute confidence in making this endorsement," said McIntosh, himself a Republican former congressman from Indiana. "Rep. Stutzman is a totally different candidate with much more experience in the spotlight on national issues. In addition, Rep. Stutzman has surrounded himself with a great team. So, the Club's PAC and its members are excited about supporting his candidacy and confident we can make a difference in the race."

Young closed the second quarter fundraising period with over $2 million in cash on hand, more than double Stutzman's $848,500. Young's campaign did not appear concerned about the club's decision to back Stutzman. In an emailed statement, Young campaign manager Trevor Foughty signaled that his candidate planned to position himself as a conservative who also is effective at getting things done in Washington, an approach that could work in a state whose voters are cool to partisanship.

"Todd Young's sole focus is reversing President Obama's agenda by advancing conservative solutions. That's what Hoosiers want in their next U.S. Senator. This week's passage of Todd's REINS Act shows that conservatives can not only fight, but win, in Washington," Foughty said.