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Todd Young Announces Indiana Senate Bid

Young's background has appeal to both the tea party and pragmatic Republican bases in Indiana. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., will run for Senate in the Hoosier State, he announced Sunday, becoming the third Republican to enter a competitive race to replace retiring GOP Sen. Dan Coats.  

"Everything in my life I owe to God, my family, the Naval Academy and the Marine Corps," Young said in a video announcing his candidacy shared first with CQ Roll Call. "The best way I can think of to give back is to ensure that every Hoosier family enjoys a better future. That's why I'm running for U.S. Senate."  

Young is a top-tier contender for the Republican nomination. He represents a suburban Indianapolis House district and his background has appeal to both the tea party and pragmatic Republican bases.  

But he'll face stiff competition for the Senate nomination from fellow GOP Rep. Marlin Stutzman and former congressional aide Eric Holcomb – who served as Coats' chief of staff before announcing a bid earlier this year. A fourth Republican, state Sen. Mike Delph, is also considering a bid.  

Young raised $1 million in the second quarter, and reported more than $2 million in cash on hand as he enters the race. Holcomb raised a fifth of that, bringing in just $200,000 in the same time frame. Stutzman announced on July 10 he had taken in $600,000 in the second quarter.  

On the Democratic side, former Rep. Baron Hill is running  for the seat. Young defeated Hill to come to Congress in 2010 — a fact Young is likely to play up in his quest for the Republican nomination.  

Indiana's Senate race is rated a Republican Favored contest by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call.  

Young will have to vacate the 9th District he currently represents in order to run for Senate. The district runs from the Indianapolis suburbs south to the Kentucky border, and includes Bloomington, home to the state's flagship public university.  

GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won the district by a 17-point margin in 2012, making it a Safe Republican seat.  

A number of Republicans could look to run in a primary, according to Indiana GOP operatives. They include:

  • Former Rep. Mike Sodrel, who served for one term before being ousted by Hill in 2008. Sodrel ran unsuccessfully for the seat four other times, including the 2010 GOP primary in which he came in third behind Young and another Republican.
  • Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who was first elected to the role in 2008, and was re-elected four years later.
  • State Sen. Brent Waltz, who first won his state Senate seat in 2004
  • State Sen. Erin Houchin, who was first elected to the role in 2014.

Clarification 9:24 a.m. This article was updated to indicate that Holcomb worked for Coats from Indiana.  

Related: Marlin Stutzman Leaving House to Run for Senate Coats’ Top Aide Enters Indiana Senate Contest Coats Retirement Sparks Hoosier State Free-for-All Coats Not Seeking Re-Election in Indiana Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016 Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.