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Evan Bayh May See Competition From A Bloomington Resident

Last updated on Tuesday, November 10, 2009

(UNDATED) - Indiana Senator Evan Bayh may face a challenge from the left in next year’s democratic primary.

Bloomington restaurant owner Tamyra D'ippolito says she was hoping someone with political experience would challenge Bayh in the primary.

When no one jumped in, she did.

Bayh has yet to commit to supporting a health care reform bill.

Two weeks ago, the Liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee released a poll claiming 48% of Hoosier democrats would be less likely to vote for Bayh in the primary if he votes against a government-run insurance option, with 52% less likely if he joins a Republican Filibuster to kill it, a possibility Bayh has called unlikely but refused to rule out.

D'ippolito supports a public option, but charges Bayh's caution on health care is part of a larger failure to work to improve Hoosiers' lives.

The PCCC Poll finds a vote against a public option would be less costly in a general election, with a net 9% of voters less likely to support Bayh if he votes no.

D'ippolito chaired the campaign of a previous insurgent candidate, when IU Graduate Advisor Gretchen Clearwater took on US Rep. Baron Hill in last year's democratic primary.

Hill trounced Clearwater by a 52-point margin.

But D'ippolito notes turnout is typically minuscule in a primary, and says that opens the door for a candidate who seeks to challenge politics as usual.

Senate candidates must gather 500 petition signatures from each of the state's nine congressional districts by February 16 to get on the ballot.

D'ippolito says she's almost halfway there.

State rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Howe), Richmond Banker Don Bates Jr. And Fishers Plumbing Company owner Richard Behney are seeking the republican nomination.

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