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Ellsworth to Run for Senate

Updated: 3:40 p.m.

It appears that Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) is his party’s consensus choice for the seat of retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D) and that state Rep. Trent Van Haaften will run to succeed Ellsworth in the 8th district.

The Evansville Courier & Press reported Thursday that Ellsworth would run for Senate, and a Democratic source familiar with Indiana politics told Roll Call that Ellsworth appears to have the support of members of a party selection committee.

Van Haaften would need to file by noon Friday. Ellsworth would then withdraw from the 8th district primary by the Feb. 22 deadline.

Six Republicans already have filed to run in Indiana’s 8th, though none is particularly well-known and the contest could draw some additional GOP candidates now that Ellsworth won’t be seeking re-election. Gibson County prosecutor Robert Krieg and state Treasurer Richard Mourdock might also seek the Republican nomination.

Ellsworth, however, released a statement Thursday afternoon denying he had made a final decision.

“Contrary to some media reports, I have not made a decision about whether to run for the U.S. Senate. I am continuing to talk with my family and Hoosiers throughout Indiana about where I can best serve our state,” Ellsworth said in a statement.

“Put simply, this is a decision I don’t take lightly. I want to make sure whatever decision I make is the right one for my family, my constituents, and the state of Indiana. Tomorrow, I will wrap up my annual Open Door Listening Tour, which took me through all 18-counties of the 8th District. At that point, I will have more time to devote to giving this great responsibility the serious consideration it deserves.”

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