(CNN) - Two days after Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh shocked fellow Democrats with his decision not to run for reelection, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine pledged that the party will field a top-flight candidate to defend the seat.
"We're going to have a marquee candidate in Indiana," Kaine told CNN's Kiran Chetry on American Morning on Wednesday. "There isn't any reason for Democrats to walk around with sad faces."
Kaine did not indicate who that candidate might be. The top two prospects appear to be Indiana Reps. Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill.
Hill, who is out of the country this week, has remained silent on his plans. Ellsworth has indicated that he is actively considering a run and will make up his mind shortly.
"I don't want to hold it to exactly a week, but I wouldn't think that kind of stuff takes much longer than that, and I know that [Indiana Democrats] are going to want to find somebody to get busy running," Ellsworth told the Evansville Courier & Press on Tuesday.
A former sheriff, Ellsworth beat Republican Rep. John Hostettler in 2006. Hostettler held the seat for six terms. The district was nicknamed "the bloody eighth" because of its history of incumbents losing in bruising contests. But in 2008, Ellsworth won re-election easily with 65% of the vote.
"We'll miss Sen. Bayh but we'll go after the Indiana race and we're going to compete everywhere," Kaine also said on CNN.