(CNN) - Members of a major national conservative grassroots organization team up with local tea party leaders in Indiana Friday to discuss strategy on how to defeat longtime Republican Sen. Dick Lugar in next year's GOP primary. The meeting comes as the senator reaches out Saturday to other local tea party activists in Indiana.
Officials from FreedomWorks will meet with leaders from Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate, which was formed last year by tea party and other conservative activists from across Indiana to find a consensus candidate to challenge Lugar in the primary, who already faces at least one opponent from the right.
FreedomWorks is a nonprofit conservative organization based in the nation's capital that helps train volunteer activists and has provided much of the organization behind the Tea Party movement. The group also supports conservative candidates in Republican primary and general election contests.
"We are interested in helping Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate find a replacement for Senator Dick Lugar. His record of irresponsible votes on fiscal policy for the last couple of decades could be his downfall. FreedomWorks members are disappointed in his votes and are looking for a fiscally responsible alternative," Brendan Steinhauser, Director of Federal and State Campaigns for FreedomWorks, tells CNN. (Steinhauser is not related to this reporter)
The meeting is part of three days of events that FreedomWorks is holding in Indianapolis on issues ranging from the state budget and pension battles currently being waged in Indiana to workshops for conservative activists. The group Thursday gave Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels an award for what they call his dedication to rein in spending in his state.
Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate plans to hold a caucus or convention style meeting in September, to endorse a candidate to primary challenger Lugar.
Greg Fettig, who helped co-found the group, tells CNN the meetings with FreedomWorks will help "maximize the efforts of the grassroots movement here in Indiana to try and unseat Lugar."
Fettig adds that FreedomWorks "is a valuable resource to us."
Lugar met late last year in Indiana with tea arty activists. Mark Helmke, a senior advisor to the senator, told CNN recently that "the senator and staff have reached out to numerous individuals and groups saying they are members or are sympathetic to the tea party movement. Lugar sees eye to eye with them on fiscal and spending issues."
Lugar meets with an estimated 100 members of the White County, Indiana, Tea Party Saturday afternoon, according to Helmke, who says that the senator's "vocal concerns about President Obama's new war in Libya has gained the support of national tea party favorites like Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, his son Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah."
Friday morning Lugar goes on the popular WIBC Garrison radio program in Indiana, following an appearance by FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey.
Lugar, the most senior Republican member of the Senate, is running next year for a seventh term in office. He's been criticized by many tea party activists and other grass-roots conservatives for his willingness to work with Senate Democrats to seek bipartisan solutions, for his votes in favor of President Obama's Supreme Court nominees the past two years, and for his 2008 vote in favor of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as TARP. They were also upset with him for his early public openness last year to vote in favor of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with Russia.
Lugar is already facing a primary challenge from the right - from Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock. State Sen. Mike Delph is also considering a primary challenge. Both men are scheduled to take part in some of the FreedomWorks events this weekend.
Lugar, 78, was first elected to the Senate in 1976 after serving as mayor of Indianapolis. Lugar did not face a primary challenge in 2006 and won 87 percent of the vote in the general election, facing only a libertarian candidate.
The winner of the May 8, 2012 GOP primary would likely be considered the favorite to win the general election.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN