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Rokita May Challenge Bayh

Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita (R) said Wednesday he is weighing a challenge to Sen. Evan Bayh (D).

“I continue to receive a lot of encouraging phone calls and emails from a diverse group of people,— Rokita said in a statement. “I certainly share Hoosiers’ concerns that we need real leadership in Washington — leadership that we simply aren’t getting today.—

Rokita’s statement also said he and his wife are preparing for the birth of their second son and that “we still think and pray about how we can best serve Indiana in the future — this great state that we love.—

He will have to make a decision quickly. The candidate filing deadline is Feb. 19, and Rokita would have to file a nomination petition signed by 4,500 registered voters, with at least 500 registered voters in each of the state’s nine Congressional districts.

Rokita’s statement came one day after Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said he would not run against Bayh, whom GOP strategists assert is not as politically safe as his past landslide victories have indicated.

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

The Indiana primary will be held May 4.

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