- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Former Sen. Evan Bayh officially announced Wednesday he will run for U.S. Senate in Indiana, two days after former Democratic Rep. Baron Hill announced he was bowing out of the race.

“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,” Mr. Bayh said in a statement. “Hoosier families deserve more and I’ve decided to run to take their cause to the U.S. Senate.”

As talk about Mr. Bayh’s possible entry into the race swirled Monday, political handicappers moved the contest from a likely GOP hold to a tossup. His announcement sets up a likely matchup against GOP Rep. Todd Young in the race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Dan Coats.

In his statement, Mr. Bayh also talked up his experience serving as Indiana’s governor and his efforts on cutting taxes, reforming welfare, and creating a college scholarship program.

He also noted that he supports a constitutional amendment to balance the budget, tried to cut red tape for small businesses while in the Senate, and took on China to combat “unfair” trade practices.

“It wasn’t easy and there were immense frustrations but it’s not enough to just hope things get better,” he said.

He said one of the reasons he decided to retire in 2010 was to spend more time with his family, and said he’s “proud” of that decision.

“Now, I see their future — and all of Indiana’s future — put at risk by a broken political system,” he said. “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.”

Mr. Bayh’s entry into the race gives Democrats increased hope of another possible pick-up in the battle for control of the Senate.

They’re also eyeing GOP-held seats in states like Illinois, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, while Republicans make a push to take back Democratic-held seats in Nevada and Colorado.

Republicans hold an effective 54-46 majority in the Senate, but are defending twice as many seats this year.

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