IBJNews

UPDATE: Bayh will consider private sector, university post

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Sen. Evan Bayh announced Monday that he won't seek a third term in Congress, giving Republicans a chance to pick up a Senate seat.

"To put it in words I think most people can understand: I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress," Bayh said at a news conference at IUPUI's University Place Conference Center and Hotel in Indianapolis, where he was joined by his wife and two sons.

The departure of Bayh, who was on Barack Obama's short list of vice presidential candidate prospects in 2008, continues a recent exodus from Congress among both Democrats and Republicans, including veteran Democrats Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.

The announcements have sprung up in rapid-fire fashion amid polls showing a rising anti-incumbent fervor and voter anger over Washington partisanship, high unemployment, federal deficits and lucrative banking industry bonuses.

Bayh, who won the seat to the Senate in 1998, attributed his decision to the bitter partisan divides that have dominated Congress in recent years, though he praised his colleagues as hard workers devoting to serving the public.

"My decision should not be interpreted for more than it is, a very difficult, deeply personal one," he said in front of a standing-room-only crowd. "I am an executive at heart. I value my independence. I am not motivated by strident partisanship or ideology."

Bayh, 54, said he believed he would have been re-elected this November, despite "the current challenging environment." He said it was time for him to "contribute to society in another way," either by creating jobs with a business, leading a college or university, or running a charity.

His retirement from a Senate seat from Republican-leaning Indiana also adds to the struggle Democrats will face this fall to prevent an erosion of the 59 votes they have in the chamber.

"After all these years, my passion for service to our fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned," Bayh said at the news conference, which was attended by a number of high-profile Indiana Democrats, including former Indianapolis mayor Bart Peterson.

The Democrats will have to scramble to find a replacement candidate for Bayh's seat. Friday is the filing deadline for the May primary, although the party would have until June 30 to select a replacement candidate.

Bayh's name was among a handful of well-known Democrats prominently mentioned as possible vice presidential candidates in both Sen. John Kerry's 2004 run for the presidency and Obama's successful run for the White House. He was believed to have been on Obama's short list. Obama settled on then-Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware.

Less than two weeks ago, former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, a Republican, announced that he would try to reclaim his old seat from Bayh. The move by Coats came as the GOP was still celebrating Republican Scott Brown's January upset to take Edward Kennedy's former seat in Massachusetts.

North Dakota's Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan also is retiring, and his party doesn't have anyone to challenge the Republican, Gov. John Hoeven. Democrats also failed to recruit their top candidate in Delaware. Biden's son, Beau Biden, eschewed a run against Republican Mike Castle.

Bayh, who said that he made his decision over the previous two days, is serving his second six-year term in the Senate. He said he was glad to focus on his final  months in office "unencumbered by having to run for reelection."

Bayh served two terms as Indiana's governor before winning the first of his two Senate terms in 1998. He had until recent weeks been regarded as a near certainty for re-election, having raised nearly $13 million for his campaign and facing little-known Republican opposition until national Republicans recruited Coats to enter the race.

Bayh's name was already well known when he first ran for political office in 1986, winning the race for Indiana secretary of state that year. His father, Birch, won the first of three terms in the U.S. Senate in 1962 and was an unabashed Great Society liberal.

The younger Bayh ran for governor in 1988 on a platform of fiscal responsibility, reducing what he considered to be a bloated government bureaucracy and opposing tax increases.

Bayh served two terms as Indiana's governor before winning the first of his two Senate terms in 1998.

Find IBJ's initial story here.

 

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Angela IS the best RD

  2. We are a nation of speed. All of our younger lives are filled with deadlines, quotas and bottom lines. We start to ease out of the pressured rat-race when we finally see "retirement." The most enjoyable travel on the planet is passenger rail service. Indy to Chicago does not beat Megabus or Southwest Airlines in speed. Passenger rail however has the best seating, mammoth legroon, seat backs that recline to more than 45 degrees and employers that really want you to return as a customer. Indiana municipalities need to maintain subsidies to support this transportation mode. Losing it is loss for all of us.

  3. Good day! I just want to testify how i got my loan from Mr. Eric Lefkofsky after i applied several times from various loan lenders who claimed to also testify right in this forum,i thought the testimonies where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan. Until a friend of mine introduce me to this popular Mr. Eric Lefkofsky who promised to help me and indeed he did as he promised without any form of delay. I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr. Eric lefkofsky who indeed helped me with the loan and changed my belief. I promised to share this testimony after I got my loan. I don't know if you are in any way in need of a genuine and urgent loan,free feel to contact Mr. Eric Lefkofsky via their email{grouponfunding@hotmail.com}

  4. Its a THUG issue. Bleecker Street and NYX are thug bars. They attract thugs of all races. Places that attract thugs need to be kicked out of Broad Ripple. Ain't nobody got time for that!

  5. Hello everyone, My name is Marian Gareth, I am from the Texas, United State, am here to testify of how i got my loan from Mr Andre Frank {frankloancompany@yahoo.com} after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right in this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan. I was in need of an urgent loan to start a business and i applied from various loan lenders who promised to help but they never gave me the loan.Until a friend of mine introduce me to Mr Andre Frank the C.E.O of Andre Frank Loan Company who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met Mr Andre Frank, who really help me with my loan and changed my lief for better. I don't know if you are in need of an urgent loan, free feel to contact Mr Andre Frank on his email{ Frankloancompany@yahoo.com} for help

ADVERTISEMENT