Former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh is expected to make another run for Senate in Indiana, Democratic officials said Monday, a development that would dramatically improve the party's chances to win back the vacant seat, and Senate control along with it. Democrats have been courting Bayh for over a year to run for the seat now held by Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who is retiring. Bayh was a top surrogate for Hillary Clinton during her unsuccessful run for president in 2008 and has been a major fundraiser for her this cycle. One Democratic official said Clinton herself had a role in convincing Bayh to get in the race, the AP reports.
Bayh, 60, retired in 2010 following two terms and is sitting on nearly $10 million in leftover campaign funds. But he delayed making a decision, and when the primary happened May 3, former Democratic Rep. Baron Hill won the party's nomination. On Monday, Hill announced he had filed papers to withdraw from the nomination. In a statement, Hill alluded to Bayh's likely candidacy without mentioning him by name. "Democrats have a very real chance at winning this Senate seat, especially with a strong nominee who has the money, name identification, and resources to win," Hill said. "I do not want to stand in the way of Democrats winning Indiana and the US Senate." In his own statement, Bayh said he had spoken with Hill and they both believe "we must send leaders to Washington who will put Hoosiers' interests ahead of any one political party." (Read more Evan Bayh stories.)