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It's Official: Ellsworth Enters Indiana Senate Race

Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth announced today that he will run for Senate, a decision that comes on the heels of Sen. Evan Bayh's surprise decision on Monday to retire. Because Bayh retired just before the filing deadline, Ellsworth will not need to run in a Democratic primary to win the nomination. The party's state central committee can simply name him the nominee following the May 4 primaries.

Here is Ellsworth's statement, announcing his candidacy:

"After many conversations with Hoosiers this week, and with the love and support of my family, I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate. "The best years of my life are the more than two decades I spent in the local Sheriff's department. Sheriff is a job that comes down to protecting families from harm, helping folks solve their problems or resolve their disputes, and just being willing to put your fellow citizens' best interests ahead of your own. When I look at the U.S. Senate these days, I sure think they could use more folks with those same qualities. And that's something I hope I could bring to the U.S. Senate - an independent voice to help Indiana through these tough economic times, and get things done for everyday folks who are really struggling."

The Democrat running for Ellsworth's House seat is State Rep. Trent Van Haaften, who filed the necessary paperwork this morning, the Indy Star reports.