Updated: Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010, 6:05 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 17 Feb 2010, 5:55 PM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Congressman Brad Ellsworth is the most-watched Democrat in Indiana at the moment as the party looks for a U.S. Senate candidate to replace Evan Bayh.
But while Rep. Ellsworth ponders the possibilities another Republican got in the race officially Wednesday.
John Hostettler said he would welcome a match up against Ellsworth.
Ellsworth's work as a Congressman continues this week as he conducts an 18 stop listening tour in his southwest Indiana district.
But as he answers questions about Congressional spending and health care reform, the second term Democrat is weighing the merits of a run for U.S. Senate.
"I'll give it a look and make a decision in a few days," Ellsworth told 24-Hour News 8's political reporter Jim Shella.
Shella asked, "Who's encouraging you?”
Ellsworth responded, "Three ladies at the gas station about two minutes ago said, 'do it.'"
Meantime, John Hostettler, the Republican Ellsworth beat in his first race for Congress, filed the petitions necessary to get his name on the GOP primary ballot for the Senate. He will likely be one of five Republicans running, but he's already considered the possibility of facing Ellsworth again.
"Someone that ran as a, someone that was not very liberal in 2006 has a very different record that he gets to run on this time," said Hostettler.
Yet Ellsworth is attractive to Democrats because he has gone against President Barack Obama on significant occasions, including the cap and trade vote. He is also a moderate and a former sheriff. He describes himself as one of the most independent members of Congress.
Asked about the factors he will consider as he looks to higher office, he cuts the discussion short saying only, "We'll look at it."
Look for Ellsworth to make a decision as early as this week.
Democrats will choose a candidate to replace Evan Bayh on the ballot once party leaders form a consensus around a single Senate hopeful.
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