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Former Congressman Baron Hill To Run For U.S. Senate

Baron Hill plans to run for outgoing Republican Senator Dan Coats' seat in 2016, the former Indiana Democratic Congressman confirmed Friday.

Hill told a crowd of Democrats at the annual Bartholomew County Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Thursday he plans to run, but he will not make an official announcement until June after he has had time to better organize his campaign.

The Democrat from Seymour, Ind., served as the state's 9th District representative from 1999 to 2005 and then again from 2007 to 2011, until he lost to Republican Todd Young.

Now living in Indianapolis, Hill says he's talked to Hoosiers whose wages have remained stagnant since the recession hit in 2008.

"Until we get that fixed, this economy is not going to be all the way back," he says.

Hill also says instead of hurting his chances, he thinks his time out of office will work to his advantage.

"First of all, I have the Washington experience, and I know how the place operates, but being away from Washington for the last four years has given me a new appreciation for what's going on with people on the ground here in Indiana," Hill says.

Hill had previously expressed interest in running for governor but decided his experience was better suited for the Senate race.

But if he receives the Democratic nomination, Hill faces an uphill battle. To get more of the conservative vote, Hill plans to play to his fiscally conservative record as a self-proclaimed blue dog Democrat.

"I think there are some conservative people who have the same ideas that I have about making sure we don't spend more than we have," he says.

Two Republicans, Congressman Marlin Stutzman and former Coats chief of staff Eric Holcomb, have announced they're running, and the last time Indiana had two Democratic U.S. senators was in 1977.

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