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Ellsworth to run for Indiana Senate

Update, 3:22 pm

Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth announced today that he will seek the seat being vacated by Sen. Evan Bayh.

"After many conversations with Hoosiers this week, and with the love and support of my family, I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate," Ellsworth said in a statement. He went on to tout himself as an "independent voice to help Indiana through these tough economic times, and get things done for everyday folks who are really struggling."

Ellsworth emerged as the favored candidate of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the White House in the immediate aftermath of Bayh's stunning decision that he would not seek a third term.

Handsome, telegenic and with the sort of voting record during his two terms in the House that makes him a viable statewide candidate in conservative-minded Indiana, Ellsworth is rightly seen as a recruiting coup for a DSCC that was caught off guard by Bayh's decision (as was the rest of the Democratic political world) and had been badly bruised and battered by retirements and the special election victory of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in recent weeks.

That said, Ellsworth is not Bayh and starts out at a significant name identification disadvantage against former Sen. Dan Coats, the likely Republican nominee. Republican strategists also note that Ellsworth supported President Obama's health care bill last year, a vote they plan to use against him this fall.

Because no Democratic candidate filed the necessary signatures to qualify for the primary ballot, the 32-member Democratic state central committee will select the party's candidate -- although they cannot do so until after the scheduled May 4 primary. It's also not clear whether any other Democrat will compete with Ellsworth for the Senate nomination; Rep. Baron Hill has expressed interest in a statewide race in the past.

Assuming Ellsworth is the Senate pick, he leaves behind a very difficult district for Democrats to hold in southern Indiana. While President Obama lost Ellsworth's 8th district by only four points in 2008, George W. Bush carried the seat with 62 percent in 2004.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 19, 2010; 10:57 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

I hate to tell everyone this.... but reconcilation needs 60 votes on several procedural aspects of getting the legislation through the Senate.


Lawrence O'Donnell was on MSNBC the other day - AND HE SAID THE SAME THING.

Apparently, the liberals have gotten themselves into such a delusional state that they refuse to check the facts - they are in a state of group-speak - anything outside is ignored.


Rahm Emmanuel does not know the rules of the Senate.

WE ALL KNOW THAT OBAMA DOES NOT KNOW THE RULES OF THE SENATE - BOY IS THAT A LAUGH - but who in the White House knows the rules of the Senate ? Who is giving them this advice that they have the reconciliation option available to them ???


It is like a bad rumor that got out.

This is incompetence way beyond anything I have seen... ever.

.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 21, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a hypocrite


What did Obama do in Baltimore ? Grand-STAND


What did Obama do after the meeting with the Republicans ? Obama rushed to talk to the reporters before anyone.

Obama's attitude is the same as with the race card - Only he is allowed to play the race card.

IS ANYONE ELSE COMPLETELY SICK OF HIM YET ????


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 20, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Seems like Hoosiers may be ready for an independent Tea Party candidate for the US Senate.
Maybe Joe the Plumber will relocate!

Posted by: esquire2 | February 20, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Granted, Dan Coats's second career isn't the best thing on his resume. But, shouldn't voters be more concerned how their next senator will vote? Ellsworth voted for the health care bill. He would probably vote with the Democrats 70% of the time or more. Dan Coats, regardless of his less than stellar associations, will vote against the Democrats almost all the time. I hope Indiana voters keep that in mind when they make their choice.

Posted by: Punditocracy | February 19, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

This is only going to expose the knock-down drag-out fight between Pelosi and Reid

The fight is already nasty.

One has to wonder why they never got closer together on the provisions of the health care bill.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 19, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Washington Post for plugging the Democratic Candidate in the Indiana Senate Race.


It's nice to see you take your duties as a communications arm of the Democratic Party seriously.

Posted by: Indpnt1
*****************************************
Moron.

Chuckie Lane? The Kraut? Billy Kristol?

Do you know how to use a mouse?

Posted by: st50taw | February 19, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

He's not running for Indiana Senate, he's running for the US Senate from Indiana.

Posted by: pcstorandt | February 19, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If the people of Indiana put a rummmy like Coats in office they deserve what they get, and from Republicans it is a lot of hot air and no help. These 'compassionate conservatives' only believe in helping themselves to as much as they can steal. Do I hear the squeals of delight emanating from the pen yet?

Posted by: agrossman1 | February 19, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Coats is the ULTIMATE DC insider...

Ellsworth needs to jump on Coat's shady background as a lobbyist for foreign oil companies, equity firms and other parasites.

"Dan Coats, a Virginian lobbyist and likely Senate candidate from Indiana, lobbied for an oil company partnered with dictator Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for three years, from 2005 to 2008. Coats’ lobbying firm, King & Spaulding, has been paid $470,000 for their efforts on behalf of Harvest Natural Resources, an oil and gas company which does business with the corrupt Chavez regime in Venezuela.

In fact, when Coats began working for Harvest, the company’s sole income source came from Venezuela. Over half of Harvest’s profits went to fund Chavez’s corrupt dictatorship, with the Venezuelan state owning 60% of the company. Venezuela is headed by socialist dictator Hugo Chavez, an enemy to the United States and its allies.

“Today’s report detailing Dan Coats’ lobbying activity with a company that does business with a corrupt dictatorship is a bombshell,” said Deirdre Murphy, DSCC National Press Secretary. “It’s bad enough that Coats was making bank off of a big oil company, but it’s egregious that he would lobby for an oil company that partners with Hugo Chavez. Now that he’s mulling a move back to Indiana to run for office, today’s news should make all Hoosiers question who else Coats lobbies for in Washington, DC.”

Numerous news outlets are reporting Coats is likely to run for the United States Senate from Indiana. Coats is a federally registered lobbyist whose client lists include banks, private equity firms, oil and petroleum companies and defense contractors. Coats, a Washington DC insider who lined his own pockets as taxpayers spent $700 billion bailing out Wall Street banks, has not voted in Indiana in the past ten years and currently resides in Falls Church, Virginia.

Coats Lobbied for Company In Business With Venezuelan Government. From 2005 until 2008, Coats lobbied for on behalf of Harvest Natural Resources for oil and gas issues in Venezuela."

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Ellsworth needs to jump on Coat's shady background as a lobbyist for foreign oil companies, equity firms and other parasites.

"Dan Coats, a Virginian lobbyist and likely Senate candidate from Indiana, lobbied for an oil company partnered with dictator Hugo Chavez of Venezuela for three years, from 2005 to 2008. Coats’ lobbying firm, King & Spaulding, has been paid $470,000 for their efforts on behalf of Harvest Natural Resources, an oil and gas company which does business with the corrupt Chavez regime in Venezuela.

In fact, when Coats began working for Harvest, the company’s sole income source came from Venezuela. Over half of Harvest’s profits went to fund Chavez’s corrupt dictatorship, with the Venezuelan state owning 60% of the company. Venezuela is headed by socialist dictator Hugo Chavez, an enemy to the United States and its allies.

“Today’s report detailing Dan Coats’ lobbying activity with a company that does business with a corrupt dictatorship is a bombshell,” said Deirdre Murphy, DSCC National Press Secretary. “It’s bad enough that Coats was making bank off of a big oil company, but it’s egregious that he would lobby for an oil company that partners with Hugo Chavez. Now that he’s mulling a move back to Indiana to run for office, today’s news should make all Hoosiers question who else Coats lobbies for in Washington, DC.”

Numerous news outlets are reporting Coats is likely to run for the United States Senate from Indiana. Coats is a federally registered lobbyist whose client lists include banks, private equity firms, oil and petroleum companies and defense contractors. Coats, a Washington DC insider who lined his own pockets as taxpayers spent $700 billion bailing out Wall Street banks, has not voted in Indiana in the past ten years and currently resides in Falls Church, Virginia.

Coats Lobbied for Company In Business With Venezuelan Government. From 2005 until 2008, Coats lobbied for on behalf of Harvest Natural Resources for oil and gas issues in Venezuela."

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi and Reid are going to have a shouting match over this one - the democrats have devolved into three warring factions and it is getting worse.


Obama was sent to Washington to "unite" the two parties.

Instead, Obama has sparked a three-way war within his own party - everyone is out for themselves -


Why should the democrats on the Hill lose their leadership positions, committee chairmanships and staff positions because of the mistakes Obama made? This is completely out of control.

Obama has gone backwards on practically all of his campaign themes.


.

Posted by: 37thand0street | February 19, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Kat, please don't take my correcting you personally. This is just a pet-peeve of mine. Nobody in Indiana has ever used the word "Indianan" to refer to themselves. And almost all of them (up until september I would have said "us") get annoyed when we here people on TV refer to us that way. The word is "Hoosier". I realize that in the other 49 states, "hoosier" is interchangeable with "trailor trash" or "redneck", but it is also a person from Indiana. It's also the name of the Indiana University (not the university of Indiana, which is in Pennsylvania) sports teams. Thank you for letting me clear that up.

Posted by: elijah24 | February 19, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

elijah, thanx for the on-the-ground report.

sverigegrabb, I resemble that remark. Medina's rise and the truly nasty campaign ads of goodhair and KBH have kept the R side lively, and the amazing pledges and comments of Farouk have been a joy and a delight on the D side. Do you like "I will bring 100,000 jobs to TX in one year or pay the state $10M out of my own pocket"? There are more where that came from.

While it looks like I will vote against Goodhair twice, or maybe thrice, if the race turned out to be Farouk against Medina...

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 19, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"With Elsworth, we lose the 8th for sure, and have 50/50 in the 9th, and win the senate seat with a guy not much less conservative than his opponent."


Sounds great to me.

If Indiana's Senate race is Ellsworth vs Coats, it's the only Senate race so far where I will be rooting for the Democrat.

Posted by: bot_feeder | February 19, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I think Indiana should be represented by an Indianan like Brad Ellsworth and not a DC/VA/NC guy like Dan "Old" Coats.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | February 19, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

Ellsworth has some impressive local wins behind him, and is telegenic. We'll see if he's 'ready for prime time'.

I wonder what the draft Mellencamp movement would have resulted in? It would have been riskier, certainly, but in this environment, barring a moment of disasterous candour, it's intriguing to ponder whether or not he might have been the more 'electable' candidate.

On the R. side, Coats is in some ways very flawed--and far more of an 'insider' if the insider/outsider CW proves indeed to be true.

Perhaps IN will make up in excitement for what TX (primary) race, to a stultifiying degree, has lacked.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | February 19, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Perfect, now there's TWO open D seats for the GOP to pick-up.

Posted by: JakeD2 | February 19, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

WITH A LITTLE LUCK THE REAL CANDIDATES
DON'T HAVE TO WORRY, AMERICANS HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT, OR THE DARKNESS IF YOU LIKE.

Posted by: otisplumber | February 19, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

No real surprise here. Indiana was projected to lose a congressional seat in the next census anyway. It makes perfect sense for Ellsworth to decide he'd rather fight tooth and nail for a six year job than for a two year job.

Posted by: gpsbus | February 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Ellswoth is not Evan Bayh, but he is a strong candidate nonetheless. He could very well beat the Republican challenger, especially if it's Dan Coats.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 19, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Cilizza, why are you always stunned and caught off guard with every single news event?

Posted by: drivl | February 19, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Ellsworth is a very good choice. I lived in Evansville when he was sheriff and he did a great job and seems to be a nice man

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | February 19, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Ellsworth is the wrong pick for the party. I worked closely with Ellsworths campaign and Hill's in 2008 (when I worked southern Indiana for the Obama campaign) Here's the thing: Ellsworth could slaughter puppies in the food-court of Eastland Mall in Evansville, and still win re-election by double-digits*. Hill will have a tight race against an unexplainably popular Mike Sodrell in the 9th District. In fact, given the current political climate, Sodrell probably has an advantage. Dan Coats, on the other hand is not playing well in Indiana. His less than affectionate comments about the Hoosier State, have made some people there angry. Hill has a much better chance against Coats, than against Sodrell. If Hill runs for Senate, Dubois Co. Party Chairman John Bottorff, would probably be the candidate in the 9th. He will probably lose, but who knows what some beginners luck could do? Under this scenario, Dems keep the 8th, probably win the Senate seat, and still have a chance to win the 9th.
With Elsworth, we lose the 8th for sure, and have 50/50 in the 9th, and win the senate seat with a guy not much less conservative than his opponent.

Posted by: elijah24 | February 19, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

this is not a comment on the article but on the whole comment part of the WP. It has been down for a week and if you don't want it up, then cancel it. I get more enjoyment out of the comments by the readers than out of the narrow minded columns that are offered.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | February 19, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Washington Post for plugging the Democratic Candidate in the Indiana Senate Race.


It's nice to see you take your duties as a communications arm of the Democratic Party seriously.

Posted by: Indpnt1 | February 19, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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