Field in Indiana gov. race clearing ahead of 2012

Another rumored top-tier contender for Indiana governor in 2012 officially ruled out a run Monday.

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman (R) said she will not make a bid for the state's top job after a recent physical revealed "minor health issues." 

Skillman's announcement comes amid speculation Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) will make a run for the state's top job. 

Pence, a rumored GOP presidential hopeful, is seen by many as more likely to run for governor in 2012 should the path to the nomination be cleared.

Skillman's announcement also comes after two high-profile Democrats passed on the race. Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) has said he will not run in 2012, as has Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.). 

Now that Bayh and Skillman are out of the race, a Pence candidacy could quickly dissuade others from even mounting a bid and take Pence out of the 2012 presidential running.   

Other potential candidates for governor on the Democratic side include Reps. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), who just lost a Senate bid after vacating his House seat. Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel and former state House Speaker John Gregg have also been mentioned.

— This post was updated at 1:42 p.m.