Coats Says He's In: Will Likely Contest Bayh For Old Senate Seat

By Ryan Elijah
By Jeff Neumeyer

June 18, 2010 Updated Feb 11, 2010 at 7:10 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Former U.S. Senator Dan Coats confirmed Wednesday he wants his old job back.

Coats told our partner in news WOWO Radio, he is overseeing signature drives to make a formal challenge for the senate seat held by Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh.

Coats talked openly about the fact he's getting lots of encouragement from national republican leaders and Hoosiers to make a serious run for the office he held from 1989 to 1998, before retiring to pursue other challenges, including a stint as U.S. Ambassador to Germany.

He says he feels federal spending in Washington is out of control right now, that he thinks the democrats’ planned overhaul of health care is wrong, and he believes Senator Bayh is not resisting either of those things.

Instead, he feels Bayh is part of the problem.

Besides hearing from Coats himself, we picked up reaction from one of his likely primary opponents, and an IPFW political professor who thinks Coats may have some explaining to do.

Dan Coats/(R) Senate Campaign Announced: " This is the last thing I expected to do, but here I am. I think I’m answering the call and I'm going to put my heart and soul into this."

State Sen. Marlin Stutzman/(R) 13th District: " And we are in this race. I’m not dropping out. I believe that Hoosiers are looking for somebody outside of Washington. They're not looking for another Washington insider."

Prof. Michael Wolf, PhD./IPFW Political Science: " This year, the narrative is, kick the bums out. Dan Coats is out, but he's still a Washington person, so the narrative doesn't fit really what the republican message is."

Coats has until noon on February 16th to gather at least 500 valid signatures from citizens in each of Indiana’s nine Congressional Districts, to properly certify his candidacy for Bayh’s Senate seat.

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