Evan Bayh Calls It Quits

Indiana senator says partisan bickering drove him out of politics

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 15, 2010 10:27 AM CST

(Newser) – Evan Bayh won’t seek reelection, he announced today, saying he was sick of the partisan rancor in Washington. “My decision was not motivated by political concerns,” the Indiana Democrat said in a statement. “Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election. But running for the sake of winning an election … is not good enough.”

The bombshell comes just three days after the state’s Democratic Party chairman told the Indianapolis Star that the two-term senator would definitely be on the ballot in November, and polls had Bayh well ahead of his top two Republican challengers. But Bayh said that Capitol Hill gridlock, including recent failed votes on the deficit and job creation, had led him to “believe that there are better ways to serve my fellow citizens … than continued service in Congress.”

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., looks over the stage during a walk through at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008.
Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., looks over the stage during a walk through at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., introduces Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., at a town hall rally at Concord High School in Elkhart, Ind. Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008.
Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., introduces Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., at a town hall rally at Concord High School in Elkhart, Ind. Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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