FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Former Republican Sen. Dan Coats says he may sell
his family’s second home in North Carolina while preparing to challenge
Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana in November.
Coats’ statement Friday in an e-mail to The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne
came after the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released footage of
Coats in 2008 saying he planned to move from Virginia to North Carolina
“We do have a second home in North Carolina,” he said in an e-mail, “and had
plans to spend more time there after retiring. Obviously, I now have no
plans to retire, so it’s likely we will be selling our North Carolina second
The Associated Press left a message Saturday seeking comment at an office
for Coats, who said Wednesday he was preparing to challenge Bayh.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee distributed documents showing
Coats and his wife bought a $1.8 million house in Wilmington, N.C., in 2006.
The footage was incorporated into an ad by the committee that seeks to
derail his candidacy by questioning his intentions about living in Indiana.
“Coats has spent way too much time inside the Beltway for Hoosiers to ever
trust him again,” committee spokeswoman Deirdre Murphy said in a statement.
Coats, who retains strong name recognition even though he’s not an Indiana
resident now, would bring a high profile to the race, where Republicans
believe the two-term incumbent may be vulnerable. Coats is a conservative
Republican, while Bayh is a moderate Democrat who toyed with running for
president in 2008.
Coats was a senator for 10 years before deciding in 1998 against seeking
re-election, avoiding a race with then-Gov. Bayh. Since then, he has served
as ambassador to Germany under former President George W. Bush and worked as
a lobbyist in Washington for such financial companies as Credit Suisse and
Bank of America.
At least four other Republicans have said they will seek the nomination in
the May 4 primary, and Coats is in a race to secure the necessary signatures
in the next few weeks to qualify for the ballot.
Though Coats is now a resident of Virginia, the Constitution merely requires
that he be an “inhabitant” of Indiana when elected.