IN Focus: Bayh, Young discuss Senate race shakeup

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Former Indiana governor and senator Evan Bayh officially announced that he is running for his old Senate seat in Indiana.

Bayh announced his political comeback on Wednesday just two days after former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill announced his decision to drop out of the race.

Bayh’s return boosts the chances of Democrats to win the seat held by Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who is retiring.

National Democrats pushed for Bayh to enter the race, seeing him as having a better chance to defeat GOP candidate U.S. Rep. Todd Young as Democrats seek to gain the four or five seats they need to win Senate control.

In the video above, Bayh discusses his return his politics and in the video below, Young talks about the changing dynamics of the race, and his thoughts on Bayh's candidacy.

4 Fast Facts

  • Former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill dropped out of the Senate race on Monday.
  • National Democrats pushed for Bayh to enter the race because they think he’ll have a better chance to defeat U.S. Rep. Todd young.
  • Bayh officially announced his Senate campaign on Wednesday morning.
  • Evan Bayh is a former governor and senator in Indiana.

Bayh released this statement on Wednesday morning:

“With the challenges facing Indiana and our country, I can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch as partisan bickering grinds Washington to a halt. Hoosier families deserve more and I’ve decided to run to take their cause to the U.S. Senate.

“It’s time for Indiana common sense – the principle that guided my work as Governor, when we crossed the aisle to cut taxes, reform welfare and create a scholarship program to help Hoosier families afford college. It’s how we supported our veterans and worked with business leaders to help create jobs, all while balancing the budget and building a surplus to protect taxpayers. It’s why I support a Constitutional amendment to balance the budget, fought in the Senate to cut red tape for small businesses and took on China to combat their unfair trade practices that take away our jobs. It wasn’t easy and there were immense frustrations but it’s not enough to just hope things get better.

“One of the reasons I decided to retire was to spend more time with my twin boys and my wife. I am proud of that decision and cherish the time I’ve had with them. Now, I see their future – and all of Indiana’s future – put at risk by a broken political system. I’ll work every day to put progress ahead of partisanship and to earn the support of Hoosiers so that we can get back to getting things done for Indiana.”

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody released this statement following Bayh’s announcement:

“This week, Baron Hill showed courage by putting Hoosiers ahead of his own political future. He and everyone else knows how high the stakes are in this election and the importance of protecting and fighting for the middle class in the U.S. Senate. Indiana Democrats look forward to having a commonsense leader who will work with Sen. Joe Donnelly, and as our meeting to fill the vacancy approaches, I look forward to discussing Senator Bayh’s candidacy with the State Central Committee.”

Republican candidate Todd Young also issued a statement this week about Bayh's candidacy:

"Most Hoosiers I talk with think the system in Washington is rigged against them. They think Washington lobbyists like Evan Bayh are part of the problem. I agree. Evan Bayh wouldn't defend Hoosiers from Obamacare when he was in the Senate, but as a lobbyist he defended corporations who paid him to oppose it.  

"This Senate seat does not belong to the Bayh family for whenever it's convenient. It belongs to the people of Indiana and Hoosiers expect a Senator to share their values and their experiences, and to represent their interests. I'm a Hoosier and a Marine, and I'm running to represent Hoosier values every day."

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