UPDATE (1:25 p.m. Feb. 18): Senator Simpson has officially announced she will not seek the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by Evan Bayh.
Though he says he believes a sitting member of Congress will likely be appointed to run for Evan Bayh’s seat in the U.S. Senate, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan said he’d pick a different Democratic candidate, if given the choice.
“I know this is very parochial and it is biased, but I think Vi Simpson is a natural,” Kruzan said. “She’s already raised a significant amount of money for the gubernatorial campaign and so that gives you somewhat of a running start — nowhere near what it would it would take to run a statewide campaign. She’s already made the connections statewide.”
Though he concedes losing Evan Bayh at the top of the state’s Democratic ticket has hurt candidates for lesser offices who had hoped to run on the junior senator’s coattails, Kruzan said he thinks his party could still field a candidate who would be competitive with whoever wins what’s shaping up to be a hotly contested Republican primary. Simpson is the Indiana Senate’s Minority Leader.