Indiana: Pence Weighs Bid Against Sen. Bayh

Posted January 20, 2010 at 6:44pm

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence will meet with the National Republican Senatorial Committee on Thursday to discuss a potential campaign against Sen. Evan Bayh (D), GOP aides confirmed on Wednesday.

The third-ranking House Republican declined comment when he was asked about a potential Senate campaign at a Wednesday press conference.

Pence, who is serving his fifth term, must decide soon. The candidate filing period began Wednesday and closes Feb. 19. The primary election is May 4.

Four Republicans already are challenging Bayh: former Rep. John Hostettler; state Sen. Marlin Stutzman; Don Bates Jr., a businessman; and Richard Behney, an anti-tax “tea party— activist.

Bayh, a former Indiana governor, dominated the vote in his two Senate races and had $12.7 million in his campaign account at the end of September. Strategists think he could be vulnerable this year in part because of his vote for the Democratic health care bill.

Republicans would be favored to retain Pence’s 6th district, which includes Anderson, Muncie and other territory in eastern Indiana.