Washington (CNN) - Though it would have been next to impossible for him to garner the signatures necessary to get on the Republican primary ballot by Tuesday afternoon, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence re-iterated Monday that he has no interest in running for the Senate this year.
National Republicans courted Pence to challenge Sen. Evan Bayh last month, before it was known that the Indiana Democrat was going to retire. Former Sen. Dan Coats entered the race earlier this month, but Pence's name was mentioned again after it was learned that Bayh would not seek a third term.
"After receiving considerable encouragement to run for the United States Senate last month, Mr. Pence made a decision to seek re-election to the House of Representatives and help lead a conservative comeback in 2010 and that decision stands," Pence spokesman Matt Lloyd said. "Mr. Pence's decision was made irrespective of polls or Senator Bayh's intention to seek re-election."
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Evan Bayh is expected to announce Monday that he will not seek a third term in the Senate, a source close to the Indiana Democrat told CNN.
Bayh, a former governor, was first elected in 1998.
Washington (CNN) - Since Republican Dan Coats entered the Indiana Senate race earlier this month, Democrats have unleashed a torrent of opposition research against the former senator, making hay of lobbyist work and a video showing Coats calling North Carolina "a better place" than Indiana.
But before Coats can take on Democrat Evan Bayh this fall, the former senator must survive a Republican primary - and his two GOP opponents are now raising doubts about Coats' voting record while in the Senate.
His Republican rivals – former Rep. John Hostettler and state Sen. Marlin Stutzman – are calling attention to Coats' votes on judicial confirmations and gun control, while he served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999.
"I guess I would consider him a conservative, but there are votes that people are raising their eyebrows over and saying, 'Is this the conservative we are looking for?," Stutzman told CNN.
Stutzman said Coats cast several votes "against" the Second Amendment, including one in favor of a tough 1991 crime bill that banned several types of semi-automatic weapons. He was also one of seven Republicans to vote in favor of the so-called "Brady Bill" in 1993, which instituted background checks for firearm purchases.
Hostettler promised to highlight Coats' vote to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993 (even though only three senators opposed her nomination). Ginsburg replaced retiring conservative justice Byron White.
"Sen. Coats voted to replace one of the most legendary pro-life voices with probably the most pro abortion nominee ever presented to the Senate," Hostettler said. "You can't be voting to replace pro-life votes with pro-abortion votes."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, opened an exploratory committee Wednesday as he considers a challenge to Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, in November.
"After much thoughtful consideration, I have authorized my supporters to begin gathering signatures as I test the waters for a potential challenge to Evan Bayh in 2010," Coats said in a statement released early Wednesday afternoon. "Over the next few weeks, I will be talking to Hoosiers from all walks of life, and I will make a formal announcement regarding my intentions in the near future."
CNN reported early Wednesday morning that Coats was considering challenging Bayh for the Senate seat he once held from 1989 to 1999.
(Read Coats' full statement)
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, is expected to announce Wednesday that he will challenge Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, in November, a Republican source told CNN.
Coats held the Senate seat that Bayh now occupies from 1989 to 1999.
It is a big recruiting success for Senate Republicans, who hope that voter frustration with President Barack Obama's handling of health care and the economy will translate into electoral wins in the mid-term elections.
Republican Scott Brown's surprising victory in last month's Massachusetts special election has given the GOP hope of evening the odds in the Senate. Democrats control the chamber, 60-40, with the support of two independents. When Brown is sworn in next week, Democrats will hold the chamber by one less vote, effectively ending their supermajority in the chamber.
Coats was appointed to the Senate seat after Sen. Dan Quayle was elected vice president in 1988. Coats went on to win a special election to serve the rest of Quayle's unexpired term, as well as his own full six-year term. Coats chose to retire instead of run for re-election. Bayh won the seat in November 1998 and is seeking a third term.
The GOP source spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The former senator was ambassador to Germany from August 2001 to February 2005 in President George W. Bush's administration.
Before joining the Senate, Coats served in the House from 1981 to 1988. He is currently a senior policy adviser at King & Spalding.
"Howey Politics Indiana" first reported Coats' candidacy late Tuesday.
(CNN) – Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, told supporters Tuesday he will not challenge Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, in November and instead will run for re-election of his House seat.
Pence, who serves as chairman of the House Republican Conference, made the announcement in a letter that was posted to his Facebook page.
"After much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to remain in the House and to seek reelection to the 6th Congressional District in 2010," Pence wrote in the letter. "I am staying for two reasons. First because I have been given the responsibility to shape the Republican comeback as a member of the House Republican Leadership and, second, because I believe Republicans will win back the majority in the House of Representatives in 2010."
National Republicans were hoping that Pence would make the race because they saw him as the strongest candidate to challenge Bayh this year. Pence has a national following within the conservative movement and would likely have been able to raise enough money to compete with Bayh, who was first elected in 1998.
Asked by reporters about his reaction to the Pence decision, Bayh admittedly gave what he called a "non-answer."
"We have a very good relationship and I wish him well in his good service in the House of Representatives," said Bayh.
Full text of letter after the jump:
Washington (CNN) – In the wake of Republican Scott Brown's surprising win in this week's Senate special election in Massachusetts, the anti-tax Club for Growth is publicly urging Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, to challenge Sen. Evan Bayh this fall.
Pence is a hero to small-government conservatives who has beefed up his political operation in recent months along with making travels to states like Iowa and South Carolina, sparking talk that he is eyeing a White House run in 2012. Pence has also been mentioned as a potential successor to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels after Daniels' second term expires in 2013.
But the Club for Growth wants Pence to jump in the Senate race instead. Chris Chocola, the Club's president, said in a statement Thursday that Brown's win in Massachusetts "confirms that Indiana is a winnable race for a principled advocate of economic freedom and limited government."
"Mike Pence can beat Evan Bayh in November, and I join pro-growth conservatives in Indiana and around the country in hoping that he does," Chocola said.
On Wednesday, Pence confidante Tony Perkins - the president of the conservative Family Research Council - suggested to CNN that Pence isn't likely to run against Bayh. "I think he is positioned to move, but I just don't know if the Senate is where he will be," Perkins said.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Evan Bayh is urging President Barack Obama to veto a huge end of the year government funding bill that fellow Democrats pushed through the Senate this past weekend.
On a mostly partisan vote of 57-35, the Senate approved the compromise omnibus spending plan worked out with the House, which passed it last week. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
The senator from Indiana was one of three Democrats, joining Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, to vote against the spending bill, which is needed to keep the federal government running as of next week.
"The president didn't create this mess, but Congress must be restrained," Bayh said in a statement released Monday. "We have to take the credit card away from the politicians who just want to spend, spend, spend. More than one trillion dollars of spending was just way too much. This may not win me a popularity contest in the halls of Congress, but it's the right thing to do."
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, that the revelation late last week by the United States of a previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear facility set the stage for tough and possibly productive discussions between the U.S., Iran, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China set to begin October 1.
“I think the P-5-plus-1 meeting that is set up this week is the right venue,” the Tennessee Republican told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “I think the table couldn't be set better for that meeting. . . . I think we should be very tough on them.
“The fact is, the world community is now, I think, more united than ever to confront Iran. And this is information we've had for some time. I think making it public this week and Iran actually coming forward and saying that it was true certainly turns the table. And I think we have a tremendous opportunity for the first time in a long time for a breakthrough.”
Corker was agreeing with Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Indiana, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who also said Sunday the United States should take a tough approach with Iran.
On the eve of talks, Bayh advocated for “more sticks, frankly, at this moment than carrots” in dealing with Iran.
(CNN) – President Obama has chosen a moderate Midwesterner who boasts bipartisan support as his first judicial nominee, the White House announced Tuesday.
The president picked Judge David Hamilton to fill the vacant seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Hamilton has served as a district judge in Indiana for 14 years and was Counsel to Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh while he was governor. He has the backing of both his state’s U.S. senators.
“Judge Hamilton has a long and impressive record of service and a history of handing down fair and judicious decisions,” Obama said in a statement. “He will be a thoughtful and distinguished addition to the 7th circuit and I am extremely pleased to put him forward to serve the people of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.”
Republican Sen. Dick Lugar also expressed support for Obama’s pick.
“I enthusiastically support the Senate confirmation of David Hamilton for U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals,” Lugar said in a statement. “Judge Hamilton has served the Southern District of Indiana with distinction as U.S. District Court Judge.”