Friday, February 19, 2010

State Law Creates Snag For Democrats In Replacing Bayh

The Indiana Democratic Party had planned to conduct a meeting of its state committee within a week to pick a replacement on the November ballot in the U.S. Senate race following Evan Bayh's last minute decision to drop out of the race. No other Democrat qualified to be placed on the May 4 primary ballot. Speculation has centered on two Southern Indiana congressmen, U.S. Rep. Brad Ellsworth and U.S. Rep. Baron Hill. The Star's Mary Beth Schneider reports today that lawyers for the state party have determined that a state law prohibits the state committee from appointing a replacement for Bayh until after the May 4 primary. That means Ellsworth and Hill will have to pretend to be running for re-election to the House, while actually jockeying for the Senate vacancy appointment. More importantly, it means the Republican candidate won't be disadvantaged by an early decision on the Democratic candidate. It also looks that like the state party will have to contend with strong objections to Ellsworth's candidacy from the GLBT community, which points out that Ellsworth has one of the worst voting rights on GLBT issues of any Democratic member of Congress.

There are plenty of candidate on the Republican side. It appears all of the announced candidates will make the ballot, including for Sen. Dan Coats, State Sen. Marlin Stutzman, former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler, businessman Don Bates and tea party activist Richard Behney. Although Coats has a big advantage in name recognition because of his earlier years in the Senate, he by no means has a lock on the race. Many party activists resent his late decision to enter the race after spending more than a decade living and working in D.C. as a lobbyist. Coats has not voted in Indiana since leaving the Senate. He only rented a home in Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago that he has declared as his official residence.

Meanwhile, I'm picking up strong indications that Bayh intends to return to Indiana after serving in the Senate to begin laying the groundwork for a 2012 gubernatorial bid. That prospect has many Democrats smiling because of Bayh's past electoral successes in statewide races. Republicans have no clear front runner for that office at this point, although there is speculation that Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and U.S. Rep. Mike Pence want to run for the office.

10 comments:

XQRX912 said...

Has anyone looked into a primary write in campaign?

Vox Populi said...

If Bayh does run for governor, Pence will opt for Lugar's open senate seat.

Had Enough Indy? said...

I hope you are wrong about Bayh for Governor. He's not the only person in the Democratic party and others deserve a crack at that job.

artfuggins said...

Bayh represents the Republican wing of the Democratic party. I would prefer that our next governor candidate be a real Democrat.

indyernie said...

I would prefer that our next governor candidate be a Republican.
Bayh's been Obama's boy. He has never been a Republican, not even close.

american patriot said...

>>He only rented a home in Indianapolis a couple of weeks ago that he has declared as his official residence.

I thought you had to live in Indiana for 180 days in a year to be a resident.

jason121976 said...

No comment on Fox59's story the other night? Weren't you talking about this story months ago?

Kevin in Brownsburg said...

Gov. Bayh..again? Hey state employees: get ready for no pay raises again!!!

wiseconservatism.com said...

Baron Hill is not someone that any of us should want on the ballot to replace Bayh. Heaven forbid.

Great post.

XQRX912 said...

Has anyone read BEB III's puerile contribution to the NY Times editorial page? His "big idea" for reform in the Senate is having all the senators dine together once a month. I see him a dinner and raise him a week together at summer camp. I suspect that BEB III put off to the last minute his decision to quit on the hopes that something would go away. Maybe he has a Durham connection that everyone is missiing. Or maybe the Cheerleader has a Durham like problem that would come up and it finally became clear it could not be finessed.