Monday, February 15, 2010

Bayh Announces He is Not Running For Third Term; Has Anyone Looked at the Election Calendar?

Shocking news today. Evan Bayh has announced he will not be seeking a third term. I would be very interesting in hearing the rest of the story. Although Bayh cites the partisan rancour in Washington as his reason, partisan rancour in Washington isn't exactly new. His late departure from the race leaves the Democrats scrambling for a replacement only a few months before the primary.

If my reading of Indiana election law is right, it reveals a much bigger problem for Democrats. The final day for filing a declaration of candidacy is noon on Friday. This Friday. If someone, anyone, gathers the necessary 4500 signatures before then and files his or her candidacy, that person is on the ballot. If that person is the only candidate who has filed, he or she will be the nominee. The State Democratic Chairman can only appoint a person to the ballot if there is a vacancy. The Democrats could be stuck with a very weak candidate for U.S. Senate.

There has to be more to this story. A two-term incumbent U.S. Senator doesn't suddenly pull out just days before the filing deadline unless there is a bigger reason than what Bayh cited. Bayh's action has almost certainly handed a U.S. Senate seat to the Indiana Republicans.

CORRECTION: Another statute, IC 32-2-8-10 sets the time for filing the 4500 names at 77 days before the election. The deadline for filing for office is 74 days before the election. Thus, the deadline for turning in signatures is tomorrow at noon. The deadline for filing for office is Friday at noon. I guess the three extra days is supposed to give the county election boards time (not much time) to check out the names.

So someone still has 21 hours or so to file the signatures and be the only Democrat on the ballot.

This makes me almost certain delay in Bayh's announcement was a deliberate attempt to let State Chair Dan Parker pick a U.S. Senate candidate rather than have a contested primary for the position.

6 comments:

Doug said...

Yup. He gets to hand-pick his successor this way. The reason for his sudden departure remains mysterious, however. He came to office as Clinton was being impeached for lying about a blowjob. Partisanship isn't notably worse now than it was then.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Well, Doug, he did lie about that BJ under oath so it was a little more serious than just lying about sex.

But, I think we're on the same page. This had to be deliberate, just like Brizzi's withholding his decision to run when it was clear all along from looking at his report that he wasn't.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Yes, there will be only one choice in the next Democrat primary for U.S. Senate. How useless a primary.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Peterson anyone? Hogsett??? Definitely not considerate timing of the withdrawal on Bayh's part.

Indy Student said...

If the states Dems are smart, they won't pick Peterson. There is a strong anti-Indianapolis Mayor bias when they try to get into a US Congress office.

Not to mention, I'm sure Peterson's current gig pays more.

Paul K. Ogden said...

IS,

There are plenty of people who would forego higher income to be Governor of the State of Indiana. Daniels did.