With the White House's encouragement, Rep. Brad Ellsworth, former sheriff, pro-life Dem, will soon announce that he intends to run for Senate in Illinois -- Evan Bayh's seat, Democratic officials said. An announcement won't come today.

"Contrary to some media reports, I have not made a decision about whether to run for the U.S. Senate. I am continuing to talk with my family and Hoosiers throughout Indiana about where I can best serve our state," Ellsworth said through a spokesperson.

"Put simply, this is a decision I don't take lightly. I want to make sure whatever decision I make is the right one for my family, my constituents, and the state of Indiana. Tomorrow, I will wrap up my annual Open Door Listening Tour, which took me through all 18-counties of the 8th District. At that point, I will have more time to devote to giving this great responsibility the serious consideration it deserves."             


Ellsworth cuts a great profile for the state -- though he voted for health care reform, he voted against the stimulus package in the House and voted against cap and trade legislation to boot.
Officially, the primary is May 4 -- but absent candidates who turn in enough signatures, the state party gets to choose.

Former Sen. Dan Coats remains the likely Republican nominee.

Great campaigner, young, attractive guy -- strong on second amendment issues. Popular within the Democratic caucus. Supported by the Democratic establishment.  Ellsworth's impending announcement was first hinted at by Howey Politics Indiana. He faces a noon Friday deadline due to Indiana's ballot access rules.