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Todd Young claims victory over Evan Bayh

Republican Todd Young takes a U.S. Senate victory

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Republican Todd Young
  • Republican Todd Young

News of Todd Young’s election was heavily hinted, but not formally announced until the image of Evan Bayh appeared on the two large screens at the front of the room. The crowd stood in rapt attention, watching their rival concede his race.

At the final count, Young carried 52 percent of the vote while Bayh took 42.4 percent. Libertarian Lucy Brenton carried 5.5 percent.

Screams of “Bye, Bayh” rang through the ballroom during the former Indiana governor and senator’s brief concession speech. Towards the end of his speech, Bayh led the Democratic crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to his twin sons, who turn twenty-one today – this was met by loud boos from the Republicans.

Todd Young did not take the stage until later in the evening. Young, the apparent darling of the room, began his speech to thunderous applause. At this point in the evening, the good news had been rolling in for several hours. The crowd was high on victory.

With a reported $23.5 million spent on advertising against Bayh. Young started election day with a high chance of success, according to the polls forecasting website 538.

Young, of course, thanked his family and volunteers for their tireless support. He then turned his attention to healing the rift caused by the Indiana senate race.

He thanked Evan Bayh for a spirited campaign and for his past public service.

“For while we have policy disagreements, I know that Senator Bayh and I agree that we need to find a path forward – one nation, under God,” he said. “Our Democrat neighbors fought hard, but now it’s time to come together for the good of the state and our country.”

The speech returned the focus to the reigning theme of the night: it was a good day to be a Republican, especially in the state of Indiana.

Specifically, the speech was truly a Young speech, making no less than seven references to being a former United States Marine.

“I ran for the United States Senator for the reason I joined the United States Marine Corps,” he said. “I wanted to be part of the solution. Now tonight was a great victory not for me, but for the people of Indiana. You see, I learned in the Marines to put people before politics, and the Indiana senate seat belongs to the people of Indiana. This is your seat … More than anything, tonight’s victory belongs to any one of us that believes Indiana, and America, is bigger and stronger than our problems for those of us that are optimistic about our country’s future.”

“Tonight … you voted to send in the Marines,” he said to deafening cheers.

As Bosma said earlier, Young was being sent in to clean up the swamps of D.C.

—Michael Rheinheimer

Evan Bayh
  • Evan Bayh

Evan Bayh, favored son, loses to Todd Young

“Serving you for 22 years has been the defining experience of my life,” said Evan Bayh during his concession speech. Bayh lost to Republican Todd Young, who took a U.S. Senate victory against Bayh. Young stuck to a “committed to Indiana” platform message and proved victorious in his first term run as he made the jump from the House to the Senate.

“Together we were able to create the 21 Century Scholars program. Together we created the most new jobs during any 8 year period in the history of our state. We balanced the budget, implemented the largest tax cut in state history, worked to combat Alzheimer’s, to lift up small business, to bring our state together. That is what I hope public service should be all about.”

“I stand ready in the years to come to help my fellow citizens in any capacity that they see fit for me to serve them. I also hope more than anything that together we can find a better type of politics. One that emphasizes hope, not fear. One that brings us together rather than divides us. One that finds common ground that we can stand on and move forward on together because in this critical hour, America needs you and me more than anything else. Tomorrow reach out to those who perhaps voted in a different direction because they are not our adversaries. They are our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors, and most of all, our fellow Hoosiers and fellow Americans. And despite what people may tell you, we have more in common than divides us.”

During his speech, Bayh seemed to criticize the bigger Republican cause. While the screens to the left of the stage were showing national election results, Bayh spoke to Hoosiers as if he were addressing the entire country, not just the state.

Bayh remained hopeful for a bright, Democratic future for the state and the country. “While we may have our disappointments this evening, tomorrow will bring a new day bringing with it the potential for new horizons of hope and opportunity for all of our people. Let us go forward, determined in the days ahead that we will enable our friends to live out the full meaning of the pledge.”

As quickly as the speech began, it ended and Bayh left the stage. An overall somber mood for Democrats, the night proved a great disappointment. Losing Democratic candidates made quick speeches and quick disappearances behind the stage curtain.

—Annika Larson



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