DUMEZICH WON’T RUN: Former state representative Dan Dumezich confirmed that he will not run for the U,S. Senate (Howey Politics Indiana). Asked if he was running today, Dumezich e-mailed a one-word answer: “Nope.” That leaves Don Bates Jr. and State Sen. Marlin Stutzman in the Republican field to take on the two-term senator with a $12 million warchest.
Within hours of making that post, Howey updated his report to say Dumezich had contacted him to say he is still mulling a bid to run for the U.S. Senate:
Dan Dumezich told Howey Politics Indiana early this afternoon that he is indeed considering a Senate challenge to U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh and said the incumbent has a “fundamental misunderstanding ours a week to about 80 hours a month, visiting Republicans around the state. “I want to make sure we have people willing to invest $6 million to $7 million needed to get there,” he said. He added that he would make a final decision “in the next month.”
He initially told Howey Politics that he would make up his mind by last February. A one-word e-mail from Dumezich this morning was misinterpred by HPI that he would not run.
Howey didn't include the direct text of the question he posed to Dumezich so it's hard to ascertain whether his misinterpretation of his original answer was understandable.
Another Republican candidate, Richmond's Don Bates, Jr., announced his candidacy over the weekend in his hometown to a crowd of about 500 people at the Wayne County Fair. That brought this snarky response from WISH-TV political reporter Jim Shella in a post entitled, "Don Who?":
Somebody named Don Bates, Jr. announced a run for U.S. Senate this weekend. According to his hometown newspaper in Richmond, Bates is a banker, a Republican, and he didn’t get an endorsement from the local Wayne County GOP Chairwoman.While Shella jumps on a headline Bayh got in Bates' hometown newspaper today, his reporting completely ignored the damning front-page story in the state's largest newspaper discussing the serious conflicts of interest posed by Sen. Bayh's wife's presence on so many publicly-traded corporate boards, including four with an interest in the current health care debate. True to form, Shella mocks and berates ordinary citizens' exercise of their right to run for public office. Shella is such an insider's political reporter. Does he get joy in tearing down people on behalf of the well-heeled insiders? Does he see it as his job to winnow the field of candidates to only those who meet with the approbation of his insider friends? I don't know Don Bates, Jr, but I sure as heck don't think political reporters should come out attacking the guy on day one just for saying he's going to be a candidate.
The Bates announcement at the Wayne County Fair is no surprise to political insiders. Bates campaigned recently at the state GOP Dinner.
But his approach is hardly conventional. A Saturday announcement with just one appearance on the border of another state and no statewide news release is not a recipe for success, especially for a guy with no name recognition to speak of outside Richmond.
By the way, Evan Bayh (the Democrat Bates hopes to unseat) gets the headline on the Richmond Palladium-Item website this morning.