“After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so in Congress has waned,” he said.
“My decision was not motivated by political concern,” he added. “Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election.”
"But running for the sake of winning an election, just to remain in public office, is not good enough,” Bayh said. “And it has never been what motivates me. At this time I simply believe I can best contribute to society in another way: creating jobs by helping grow a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor.”
“Two weeks ago, the Senate voted down a bipartisan commission to deal with one of the greatest threats facing our nation: our exploding deficits and debt. The measure would have passed, but seven members who had endorsed the idea instead voted ‘no’ for short-term political reasons,” he said. “Just last week, a major piece of legislation to create jobs — the public’s top priority — fell apart amid complaints from both the left and right. All of this and much more has led me to believe that there are better ways to serve my fellow citizens, my beloved state4 and our nation than continued service in Congress.”
Bayh's shocking decision will leave the Indiana Democratic Party in a mad scramble to find a candidate and collect enough signatures to get a candidate on the ballot before Friday's filing deadline. Perhaps Dan Coats had some clue that Bayh's decision may be coming and would explain his late entry into the race. This race is going to get real interesting.
UPDATE: U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth is not ruling out the possibility of running for the Senate according to a statement posted by WTHR. He could be appointed to fill Bayh's spot on the ballot if no candidate meets this week's filing deadline, which seems unlikely at this point.