Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh gave $500,000 to the Indiana Democratic Party, according to the Indianapolis TV station WISH, and now the Indiana Republican Party is using his gift to raise its own funds.
Bayh first gave $1 million out of his $11 million campaign war chest to the state party in March, and he followed up with $500,000 more on Thursday. The funds will help Democratic candidates across the state, including Rep. Brad Ellsworth, the Democratic nominee for Bayh’s Senate seat.
The Senator made his mark on the campaign for his seat last Friday, traveling around the state with Ellsworth and reassuring voters that the Congressman would be an independent voice for Indiana in the Senate. Ellsworth has trailed Republican former Sen. Dan Coats by double digits in most polls since he was chosen to replace Bayh on the ballot in February.
Murray Clark, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, responded to Bayh’s contribution by sending out an e-mail asking for small donations Friday afternoon.
“Evan Bayh is only one donor to the Indiana Democrats,” he wrote. “Let’s show them that Indiana Republicans have hundreds, even thousands, of supporters willing to donate $10, $25 and $50 to help elect our candidates to office. We are so close to achieving our goals this election cycle, and we won’t let the pocketbook of one man derail that!”