INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Rep. Todd Young kept an Indiana Senate seat in Republican hands by defeating Democrat Evan Bayh, handing the former two-term senator and two-term governor his first election defeat.
“Tonight Indiana voted for change in Washington,” Young said to the group of Republicans gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night. “They voted to send in the Marines. I’m going to wake up every day as your United States Senator every day with one mission in mind: figure out how I can best serve the interest of this state and its great people.”
Young, a three-term congressman from southeastern Indiana, will succeed retiring Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who won the seat six years ago after Bayh said he decided not to seek re-election because he was tired of Washington partisanship and gridlock. Young was the heavy favorite to keep the seat in GOP hands in the reliably red state until Bayh’s surprise announcement July 13 he would run. He made the decision following a recruitment push by national Democrats to help in the effort to try to regain control of the Senate.
Bayh announced he was running two days after former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill withdrew as the Democratic nominee. Throughout the campaign, the financially backed Bayh faced a barrage of attacks over his Indiana residency and lucrative work in Washington, D.C., since leaving the Senate.