Media outlets are reporting that conservative Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) has decided against running for a third term this year, a move that comes “as a surprise to Democrats in his state who had already started working on his campaign.” In prepared remarks that he will give at a 2 p.m. press conference today, Bayh cites his frustration with the stalemate in Congress:
“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 state and our nation than continued service in Congress.”
Sam Stein notes that Bayh’s replacement will have to “move remarkably fast in order to get his name on the ballot. The deadline to file is this Friday but candidates have to have 500 valid signatures from citizens in Indiana’s nine Congressional Districts to properly certify his or her candidacy.”
Bayh reportedly didn’t call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) about his retirement until after the media broke the news.
,Obama’s statement on Bayh’s retirement: “For more than two decades, Evan Bayh has devoted his career and his life to serving his fellow Hoosiers. During that time, he has fought tirelessly for Indiana’s working families, reaching across the aisle on issues ranging from job creation and economic growth to fiscal responsibility and national security. I look forward to continuing to work with him on these critical challenges throughout the rest of the year. Michelle and I thank Senator Bayh for his leadership and service and wish him and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”