Washington (AP)—Republican Sen. Dan Coats won't run for re-election in 2016, ending his political comeback while creating an opening for one by his long-time Indiana rival -- former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh.
The two have swapped the Senate seat since 1989. Coats first retired from it in 1998, dodging what would've been a high-profile challenge from Bayh. Then Bayh retired in 2010, ducking Coats, who'd called his comeback bid unfinished business.
Now, as Bayh considers a return of his own -- he's still got $10 million in his campaign bank account from 2010 -- Coats will retire again, he announced Tuesday.
Coats, 71, said in a statement that he has "concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders."
"Until the end of my Senate term, I pledge to my constituents that I will continue to focus all of my time and energy on the major challenges that Hoosiers sent me to Washington to address," Coats said in a statement.
Indiana Republican Senator Dan Coats Will Not Seek Reelection
Not the greatest news because we know Indiana is no longer solid-Republican. Dan Coats seat was previously held by Democrat Evan Bayh for 2 terms. The other senator from Indiana (currently) is Democrat Joe Donnelly who defeated Republican Richard Mourdock by 11 points in 2012. So Republicans have some work to do to retain this Senate seat.