Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., said Tuesday he will not run against Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., in this year's Senate race despite polls that showed him leading the Democrat.
In an "open letter" to supporters on his Facebook page, Pence said he will seek a fifth term in the House "because I believe Republicans will win back the majority in the House of Representatives in 2010."
He continued: "While the opportunity to serve in the United States Senate is significant, I believe the best chance this nation has to restore fiscal discipline, common sense and common values to Washington, D.C., is for conservatives to retake the House in 2010."
Pence was considered perhaps the Republicans' best shot at defeating Bayh, who like a lot of Democrats has seen his poll numbers fall lately, USA Today reported. Pence outpolled Bayh in the latest Rasmussen Reports survey.
But Bayh has a lot of money -- $12.7 million -- in his campaign account, and it would have been a risk for Pence, the No. 3 GOP House leader as chairman of the House Republican Conference, according to USA Today.
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