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Bates: Rumors of Interest in Pence’s Seat Are Premature

Updated: 3:57 p.m.

A former Senate candidate is sending a letter Wednesday afternoon to county GOP chairmen in Indiana Rep. Mike Pence’s district to address rumors that he's preparing to run for the 6th district seat.

Pence, having announced last month that he will not run for president in 2012, is expected to run for governor — creating an open-seat race, and potential candidates are already preparing behind the scenes. Don Bates Jr., who lost to now-Sen. Dan Coats in the 2010 Republican primary, said he wanted to respond to reports that he's getting ready for a run.

“While I have great respect for those who would disagree with me, I think it is highly inappropriate to declare for a seat that is not yet vacant, in a district that is yet to be redrawn,” he wrote. “I am perfectly content to let Congressman Pence be our Congressman as long as he so desires!”

In what appears to be an indication that Bates still might run for office, though, he wrote that he would continue to talk to the local leaders about his next steps.
 
The letter echoes a letter sent just a few days earlier from Henry County Council President Nate LaMar, who said he’s considering running for Pence’s seat or the state Legislature.

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