Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) has announced that he will retire at the end of his term. His term ends in 2017. His announcement will pave the way for a presumably crowded Republican primary in 2016 as the party fights to keep its Senate majority while playing defense for the first time in many years. Indiana is largely a Republican state, but the junior Senator, Joe Donnelly, is a Democrat who was elected in 2012. Then-Senator Obama also won the state in 2008, only to lose it four years later.
Coats said that he felt he could win another term if he were to seek it and that he would continue to be active in the state. It is possible that this means he will be an active participant in the 2016 Senate election, possibly campaigning for and endorsing the Republican candidate. Coats said that he felt it was time to pass the mantle of leadership, “I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders.”
Coats previously served as a Senator from 1989 to 1999, when he retired. He also served as Ambassador to Germany for a period of time. However, he ran for the Senate again in 2010 and succeeded Evan Bayh, who had succeeded Coats himself when he first retired.
“Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the United States Senate. This was not an easy decision. While I believe I am well-positioned to run a successful campaign for another six-year term, I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders.
“Until the end of my Senate term, I pledge to my constituents that I will continue to focus all of my time and energy on the major challenges that Hoosiers sent me to Washington to address.
“I am grateful to God and to Hoosiers who allowed me to serve my state and my country. I am particularly thankful for the unqualified support of my wife Marsha and our family. Regarding this decision, they were 100 percent in favor of whatever choice I would make.
“Marsha and I look forward to continued engagement in Indiana in many other ways.”