By Shelby Mullis
INDIANAPOLIS — When Democrat Evan Bayh replaced Baron Hill on the ticket for U.S. Senate in July, Republican Todd Young was not expected to give an acceptance speech on election night.
Todd Young smiles upon the crowd, preparing to give his aceptance speech. Photo by Eddie Drews, TheStatehouseFile.com
But Young, won the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Dan Coat’s with a 10 percent lead over his Democratic counterpart with 95 percent of precincts reporting.
“Tonight, Indiana voted for change in Washington. They voted to send in the Marines,” Young said during his acceptance speech. “This Marine is humble. I’m proud to have earned your trust, your confidence and your support.”
Bayh, a former Indiana governor and U.S. Senator, had never lost an election, dating back to 1986. He held his Senate seat from 1999 to 2011. He dropped out of the race for Senate in 2010, saying he was disenchanted with the partisan discord in the Senate.
He entered the Senate race in July when Baron Hill called upon a “strong nominee who has the money, name identification and resources to win.”
“While we may have our disappointments this evening, which are perfectly understandable, tomorrow will bring a new day and a new dawn, bringing with it the potential of new horizons bringing hope and opportunities for all,” Bayh said.
The willingness of Bayh to cross party lines draws Jack Hill, of Indianapolis, to Bayh. Jack Hill, a 69-year-old lifelong Republican, recently made a change in his party affiliation, identifying with the Democratic party in 2015.
Democrat Evan Bayh delivers his concession speech after losing to Republican Todd Young in the U.S. Senate race Tuesday. Young became the first person to defeat Bayh. Photo by Shelby Mullis, TheStatehouseFile.com
“Over the years, as a Republican, I know I voted for Evan Bayh sometimes as a candidate,” Jack Hill said.
The Bayh campaign banked on Republicans splitting their tickets, but the three-term congressman from the 9th District expectation proved wrong.
“With God’s help and your encouragement and support, I’m going to wake up every day as your next United States Senator,” Young said, “every day with one mission in mind—figuring out how I can best serve the interest of this state and its great people.”
Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. Derreck Stahly contributed to this report.