[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/17/art.lugar.gi.jpg caption="Lugar is backing Sotomayor. "]
(CNN) - Indiana Republican Dick Lugar Friday announced he intends to vote for Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court, becoming the first senator in his party to formally state support for President Obama's pick to the high court.
"I have listened to the testimony of Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee, carefully reviewed her public service record, and reviewed recommendations from Indiana constituents and colleagues here in the Senate," Lugar said in a statement.
"Judge Sotomayor is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and she has demonstrated a judicial temperament during her week-long nomination hearing. Judge Sotomayor has had a distinguished career of public service," he also said. "She is well regarded in the legal community and by her peers. I will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States."
While Sotomayor's confirmation appears all but certain, it remains unclear exactly how many Republicans will support the current appeals court judge when her nomination comes up for a vote on the floor.
In the Judiciary Committee, where Sotomayor will face the first vote on her nomination, at least two Republicans have suggested they will support her - Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Orrin Hatch of Utah. That vote could come as early as next week.
- CNN's Evan Glass contributed to this report