INDIANAPOLIS—UPDATE: Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind) announced Monday he will not seek re-election. The news comes as a shock to say the least, not just in Indiana, but in Washington, D.C.
The two-term Senator said he quote "doesn't love Congress." He elaborated further saying the people's business is simply not getting done. He cited two recent bills that failed to pass: a bill concerning the budget deficit, and a new jobs bill.
Bayh believes he would have won re-election, but said he did not want to win for the sake of winning.
You can read his announcement below:
LETTER FROM SEN. EVAN BAYH:
Below is a message from Senator Evan Bayh, as delivered in Indianapolis Monday afternoon:
Thank you all for coming today. I know how busy you are, and I appreciate you taking the time to be with us. I would like to begin by acknowledging some people to whom I owe a great debt of gratitude.
First, my wife, Susan who for 25 years has stood by my side and without whose love and support so much I have been privileged to do would never have been possible. As my father once told me, I definitely "married up."
Second, my wonderful children, Beau and Nick, who I love so much and of whom I am so proud. Being their father is the most important job I will ever have.
Third, my staff members - past and present - who have worked so hard and sacrificed so much for the people of our state. There is not one that couldn't have made more money and worked fewer hours doing something else, and they have always managed to make me look much better than I deserve. Most important, the people of Indiana who for almost a quarter century have placed their trust and welfare in my hands. No one can ask for a better boss or a greater honor.
I was raised in a family that believes public service is the highest calling in the church, that what matters is not what you take from life but what you give back. I believe that still. For almost all of my adult life I have been privileged to serve the people of Indiana in elective office.
As Secretary of State I worked to reform our election laws to insure that every vote counts. I cast the deciding vote in the closest Congressional race in the nation for a member of the other political party because I believed he had legitimately won the election.
As Governor, I worked with an outstanding team to balance the budget, cut taxes, leave the largest surplus in state history, create the most new jobs in any eight year period, increase funding for schools every year, make college more affordable, reform welfare to emphasize work, raised water quality standards, created more new state parks than any time since the nineteen thirties, and raised the penalties for violent crime.
In the Senate, I have continued to fight for the best interests of our state. I have worked with Hoosier workers and businesses, large and small, in the defense sector, the life sciences, medical device industry, autos, steel, recreational vehicle manufacturing, and many many more, to save and create jobs.
Since 9/11 I have fought to make our nation safe with a national security approach that is both tough and smart. I have championed the cause of our soldiers to make sure they have the equipment they need in battle and the healthcare they deserve when they get home.
I have often been a lonely voice for balancing the budget and restraining spending, and I work with Democrats, Republicans, Independent's alike to do the nation's business in a way that is civil and constructive. I am fortunate to have good friends on both sides of the aisle, something that is much too rare in Washington today.
After all these years, my passion for service to my fellow citizens is undiminished, but my desire to do so by serving in Congress has waned. To put it in words most Hoosiers can understand: I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress. I will not, therefore, be a candidate for election to the Senate this November.
My decision should not be interpreted for more than it is, a very difficult, deeply personal one. I am an Executive at heart. I value my independence. I am not motivated by strident partisanship or ideology. These traits may be useful in many walks of life, but they are not highly valued in Congress.
My decision should not reflect adversely upon my colleagues who continue to serve in the Senate. The public would be surprised and pleased to know that those who serve them in the Senate despite their policy and political differences are unfailingly hard working and devoted to the public good as they see it. I will miss them. I particularly value my relationship with Senator Dick Lugar and have often felt that if all Senators could have the cooperative relationship we enjoy the institution would be a better place.