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Indiana representative Brad Ellsworth, a conservative Democrat who has an antigay record, Friday announced his intention to seek the Senate seat being vacated by Evan Bayh.
Ellsworth, favored by the White House and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, rose to prominence after Bayh's decision to not seek a third term, according to The Washington Post's blog The Fix.
Ellsworth has a poor record on gay rights and received a score of only 30 out of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign's scorecard for the 110th Congress, 2007-2008, his first term. The HRC ranked him one of the 10 worst Democratic Congress members.
Reacting to the possibility of Ellsworth's candidacy, HRC spokesman Michael Cole told The Huffington Post, "We do not generally get involved in these types of state party decisions. During his 2006 campaign, Brad Ellsworth voiced his support for the federal marriage amendment, making him ineligible for our endorsement."
Ellsworth voted against federal funding for stem cell research three years ago, voted for federal bailouts of businesses, voted against the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, and voted against health care reform.
"He is as far to the right as you can get for a potential Senate Democrate," Chris Cillizza wrote in The Fix. "He's a virtual Parker Griffith, the right-wing Democrat who just switched parties."