Bayh says another gubernatorial run is ‘unlikely’

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Democrat Evan Bayh says it’s “unlikely” he will run for Indiana governor again, although he won’t finalize his decision until after Labor Day.

The former senator and two-term governor said during the “No Limits” radio show on WFYI that he has given the idea consideration because people he respects asked him to think about running. But he said he’s concerned about political polarization, especially in light of the all-Republican leadership in the General Assembly.

“I’d like to think I’m something of a consensus builder. I’d like to hope I’m bipartisan. I enjoy trying to reconcile differences,” Bayh, 59, told host John Krull, who is also publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com.

But Bayh said that “doesn’t seem to be the dominant theme right now in our politics.”

“It’s unfortunately, from my point of view, very divided by partisan lines,” he said. “Given the current makeup of the state legislature and the way the maps are drawn, I’m just wondering if my style of leadership would be feasible right now.”

Bayh served as governor from 1989-1997, after being elected to a term as secretary of state. The gubernatorial win ended 20 years of Republican control of the governor’s office and gave Democrats new energy. Bayh later served as a U.S. senator from 1999-2011.

When he left the Senate – citing concerns about the increasing partisan nature of national politics – speculation grew that Bayh would run for governor. A governor is limited to no more than two consecutive terms but can serve again if he or she sits out at least one term. Bayh has done little to quell the rumors.

Meanwhile, Democrat John Gregg – who was defeated two years ago by Republican Gov. Mike Pence – has said he’s considering a 2016 run for governor. Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott is also thinking about a bid for the party’s nomination.

Bayh said on No Limits, which aired Thursday, that “I did love being governor.” He said he believed it gave him the best chance as a public servant to “help the most people.”

But, he said, “It’s a different time. There are other factors.”

Bayh was 32 when he ran for governor the first time. He would be 61 if he ran in 2016. “A quarter century is a difference,” he said. And he called running statewide in 92 counties “physically a very demanding thing.”

“And so while I didn’t think it was appropriate to consider it, given that people were asking,” Bayh said, “I have said that for a variety of reasons it’s unlikely.”


  • good
    Evan is a pussy cat. and not ready to fight for anything. he's only in it when it's easy. stay in virginia you and dan coats were/are never from here anyway. he is soft as ice cream left out doors
  • Oh no
    We're doomed
  • Nice Guy
    I like Evan and crossed over to vote for him when he ran for governor. He is what I like to think of as an "old fashioned" Democrat. Unfortunately, while the Republicans can't figure out what they want to be, the Democratic party is unified -- but way too left of center, with leadership like Reid, Pelosi and Durbin. Evan would be better off taking a job as a university president or something. Besides, he's right about the legislature.
  • No upside
    I can't image EB would want to be governor again. It's already on his resume, and by political standards, his 2 terms as gov where relatively "successful" no major blunders. Being governor is HARD WORK and and lost of political RISK he knows it. Running a state is no picnic. Being a Senator has more prestige, more pay, small staff, live in DC and play in the "big leagues" with no REAL responsibility other than being a pundit on issues and jack w/ the president. The only reason to be a governor is to claim executive governing experience in preparation to run for President. He's already got those credentials. Only thing left politically is Presidency ... or go for the Senate again, which is more likely for him. Ask Coats. EB is a multi-mill guy... easier and better to be a TV commentator and a retired "statesman" out of the frey. Better pay, less risk, more time for family and golf. But like all "retired pros"... they get itchy and want to regain the prestige again. Many do not remember that EB bailed out at a time of great backlash against sitting Senators... his seat was in "play" ... he got out because he was very worried at the time. He wanted to preserve the shot at president. He's close to Clintons... maybe another play there as well in the future WH cabinet.
  • No stomach...no ideas
    I would not vote for Bayh if he did run. I also wouldn't vote for Pence. My guess is that Bayh does not have the stomach to oppose persons on the far left or far right. Also, outside of capitalizing on his time as U. S. Senator (and his wife's time as a board member to several companies) I don't know if he is willing to fight for anything. If people who claim to be in the middle walk away from fights with the right and left wing, what are we left with? Extremes. It's probably best for Bayh if he does not have the stomach for the fight but the result is no middle ground.
  • Virginia
    Probably a good idea he doesn't run. I for one do not want someone who lives in VIRGINIA to be the governor. He gave it some thought, but he likes Virginia too much. What a name I cannot say on this site! The way these people think and operate amuses me.

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  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

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