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Seeking Future Outside Politics, Bayh Won’t Run for Governor

Updated: 4:33 p.m.

Sen. Evan Bayh offered a glimpse Sunday into his future after Congress, and it won’t involve a return to Indiana anytime soon for the Democrat.

The two-term Senator, who did not seek re-election this year, expressed a desire to leave politics as he shut down rumors that he would run for governor in 2012. “I’ve been flattered by the speculation. … After careful consideration, I have concluded that the appropriate decision is not to be a candidate for governor of Indiana in 2012,” he said in a statement.

Bayh reported $10.3 million in cash on hand after the midterms, according to Federal Election Commission filings from Nov. 22, leading some to speculate he was preparing for a gubernatorial run.

Bayh “cherished every day” serving as governor from 1989 to 1997, he said, but a gubernatorial campaign “would be potentially very disruptive” in the lives of his twin sons, Nick and Beau, who are now in high school.

“While [wife] Susan and I prefer Indiana to Washington, D.C., at this time, a statewide campaign would require relocating our children; it would require a change of schools, separation from their friends and athletic teams — all during a formative time in their lives,” he said in explaining his decision. “In addition, while adults seeking public office knowingly accept the rigor and occasional nastiness of modern campaigns, imposing the process on children — particularly teenagers — would be especially onerous.”

The opportunity to move away from politics has also influenced his decision, he said. “Another factor in my thinking is whether I want to be in politics my entire life,” said Bayh, who was elected to the Senate a year after leaving the governor’s office.

“But as I said when I announced my retirement from the Senate, there are many honorable ways to contribute to society — creating jobs, growing a business, helping guide an institution of higher learning, or helping run a worthy charitable endeavor,” he said. “I’ll continue to serve, but my contributions will take a different form and on a different stage. I will reassume the most important role any one can play in a democracy—involved citizen.”

Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.