The scramble for a new Democratic Senate candidate in Indiana, with the sudden retirement of Sen. Evan Bayh and his expected replacement by the state Democratic Party, has seen a lot of attention focused on some of the state's Democratic House members -- which could in turn set off an additional scramble to fill one of their seats, should they decide to run.
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A Democratic source in Indiana filled us in on the possible candidates for the seats of three Dem House members who could conceivably become the new Senate nominee: Joe Donnelly, Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill. (Most speculation has centered on Ellsworth and Hill, though Donnelly is not out of the question, either.) If any of these three were to accept the Democratic nomination for Senate and subsequently vacate their own nominations for the House, the party would go through an internal process to replace them as Congressional candidates.
The Democratic Party precinct chairs within the district, who are elected from each of the state's election precincts, would meet for a caucus at which they would vote for a new candidate. If more than two people were to run for a seat, and nobody were to win a majority at first, voting would continue until somebody reached 50-percent-plus-one. In this kind of process, different local allegiances and records in office can have a genuine role to play among the hundreds of people voting in the contest. "Needless to say, that is a more interesting process than the state mechanism," the source said.