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Evan Bayh's Surprise Entry Upends Indiana Senate Race

Image: Evan Bayh's Surprise Entry Upends Indiana Senate Race
Evan Bayh (Samuel Hoffman/AP)

By    |   Monday, 11 Jul 2016 01:30 PM

Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh is replacing ex-U.S. Rep. Baron Hill as the Democratic Party's candidate for Indiana's open Senate seat, reports CNN.

Incumbent Sen. Dan Coats, a Republican, announced plans to retire in 2015 via IndyPolitics.org. CNN reports GOP's Todd Young, a congressman who won a close primary race over fellow Rep. Marlin Stutzman, was favored to win the seat against Hill but that the entry of Bayh, also a former Indiana governor, changes the political calculus.

Bayh's popularity, combined with a sizable $10 million left over from his last Senate campaign in 2010, may even the odds. FiveThirtyEight gave Hill a 1 percent chance of taking the seat, but noted that Bayh would make Indiana a possibility for the Democrats, who are vying to wrest control of the upper chamber from the Republicans in November.

"I am also a proud Democrat who wants to see an Indiana Democrat fighting for Hoosier families alongside Senator Joe Donnelly in the U.S. Senate," Hill wrote in a Facebook post.

"And, I want to do everything in my power to ensure a U.S. Senate that will govern responsibly. That is why, after consulting with my family, my staff and party leaders, I am withdrawing from the U.S. Senate race and removing my name from the November ballot."


The son of former Sen. Birch Bayh was first elected governor of Indiana in 1988. He served two terms in the statehouse and won a Senate seat in 1998, where he also served two terms. Bayh abruptly quit his 2010 re-election bid after being named the party's official candidate, and then-U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth subsequently lost the race to Coats.

"Meeting America's profound challenges and reforming Congress will not be easy. Old habits die hard. Special interests are entrenched," Bayh wrote in a New York Times op-ed article explaining his departure from the Senate race in 2010. "Still, my optimism as I serve out the remainder of my final term in the Senate is undiminished. With the right reforms, members of Congress can once again embody our best selves and our highest aspirations."

Since leaving, Bayh joined the Washington office of the McGuireWoods law firm as a strategic adviser and began working as a contributor for Fox News, according to Politico.

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Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh is replacing ex-U.S. Rep. Baron Hill as the Democratic Party's candidate for Indiana's open Senate seat, reports CNN.
evan bayh, indiana, senate, race
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2016-30-11
Monday, 11 Jul 2016 01:30 PM
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