Free-for-all Could Ensue For Coats' Senate Seat

Jun 1, 2015

Dan Coats is retiring from the Senate after 15 years of non-consecutive service.
Credit courtesy Dan Coats

The field for the seat of the retiring Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) may not be complete yet. Former Coats and Mitch Daniels chief of staff Eric Holcomb and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-3rd) are already seeking the Republican nomination. But Rep. Todd Young (R-9th) hasn‘t ruled it out, and says he‘s laying groundwork in case he decides to take the plunge.

"In due time we will make known my family’s decision, my own decision… It should be soon enough," Young says.

While Holcomb jumped into the race two days after Coats announced he wouldn‘t run, Young says he believes he has enough support and financial resources to take his time reaching a decision.

State Sens. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) and Mike Delph (R-Carmel) have said they‘re looking at the race as well. Merritt passed on a run for mayor of Indianapolis earlier this year, but says he thinks he has the experience to be a senator.

"It’s a legislative job, which I’m used to now," Merrit says. "I want to find out exactly how people who support me out in the state of Indiana feel about it. If I can work on the issues and make an impact like I do here on the issues that I care about, I’ll probably run. But we’re still talking inside the family."

He says he plans to decide by mid-to-late summer. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-4th) has said he expects to decide later this month. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he‘s been urged to run, and says he‘s considering it, though he says it‘s unlikely.

Former Congressman Baron Hill (D-9th) is seeking the Democratic nomination, and could face a primary with State Rep. Christina Hale (D-Indianapolis).