Sen. Bayh Surprises Dems With Retirement Announcement

Another Democrat is leaving the fold on Capitol Hill. Sen. Evan Bayh announced Monday that he won’t be seek re-election this fall after 11 years in the Senate, pointing to recent partisan politicking in Congress as the main reason for his departure. “People’s business is not getting done,” Bayh said, making sure to point out that he’s not making this move because he thinks he wouldn’t win. –KA

ABC News:

“My decision was not motivated by political concern,” Bayh said. “Even in the current challenging environment, I am confident in my prospects for re-election.”

The two-term senator’s decision came as a surprise to many Washington insiders and it blows a sizeable hole in the Democrats’ 2010 lineup. It is only the latest in a series of unexpected and premature retirements — Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., both have said they will not seek reelection — and Democrats face steep challenges ahead in trying to hold on to those seats, among a range of others.

[…] Bayh made the decision not to run on Friday, telling a small group of senior staff, but he did not tell President Obama or Reid until today.

His aides say he had been struggling with the decision for the better part of the last year, but Democrats in the Senate seemed to have no clue. Many said his decision caught them completely by surprise, but an adviser to Bayh said it was a deeply personal decision.

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