U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), today made the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate race in Indiana and the importance of having a full, fair, and transparent nomination process for the respective political parties.
“In recent weeks, prospective Republican Senate candidates in Indiana have been criss-crossing the state, meeting with voters, and gathering the necessary 4,500 signatures for federal office, as required under Indiana State law.
“The Declaration is important because it makes clear to voters exactly who is running for what office, giving voters, not party bosses, the opportunity to choose their respective candidates.
“Numerous reports over the last 24 hours indicate that Democrats intend to try and bypass the public petition process, making Indiana’s requirement that Senate candidates gather 4,500 signatures meaningless. They seem to assume that Indiana law addresses the scenario of Senator Bayh’s leaving his party with no filed candidate. Moreover, the question should be asked what exactly the Republican candidates have been working so hard to accomplish in recent weeks?
“While I believe both parties should have a nominee to offer voters in November, both political parties, and particularly Senator Bayh, should also be committed to a full, fair and transparent nomination process. While I’m not questioning Senator Bayh’s motives behind the timing of his announcement, the reality and ramifications of this timing cannot, and should not be ignored.
“Assuming there is no qualified candidate that files the appropriate documentation before the deadline, Senator Bayh should call on the State Democratic Party to ask an Indiana court to extend the candidate filing deadline – both for this Senate candidacy and for any House candidacy that is left open by a Democrat House member who runs for the Senate nomination. Doing so would remove any appearance of unfair gamesmanship by the Democrats while affirming their belief that voters, and not party bosses, should be the final arbiters of elections.
“In Indiana, running for Senate is, as it should be, an open and transparent process. It is my hope that Senator Bayh and his Party’s leadership will re-commit themselves to that important principle by immediately rejecting the notion that their nominee will be chosen behind closed doors and allow Hoosiers the opportunity to choose their respective candidates in this important Senate race.”