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 months to run for the seat now held by Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who is retiring. Bayh, who retired in 2010 following two terms, is sitting on around $10 million in left-over campaign funds.
But he held out, and when the primary happened May 3 former Democratic Rep. Baron Hill won the party's nomination.
But Hill was not considered a strong candidate to take on the GOP nominee, establishment favorite Rep. Todd Young, in the GOP-leaning state. 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 U.S. Senate.
"That would not be fair to my party or my state. And, the stakes are far too high in this election not to put my country above my own political ambitions. In accordance with Indiana law, I have filed the necessary paperwork to withdraw from the race."
The Democrats spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a public announcement.
The development was first reported by CNN.