Rep. Donnelly blasts proposed congressional map; 2012 decision coming within 'weeks'

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) blasted a new congressional map proposed by Indiana lawmakers Monday that would make his district more Republican ahead of 2012.

The centrist Democrat, who survived a tough race in 2010 against Republican Jackie Walorski, said while he's confident a Democrat can win in the proposed new district, he's disappointed "because it appears that politics played into the drawing" of the new map.   

An Indiana legislative committee released the proposed map Monday, which, as expected, shifts several Republican-leaning areas into Donnelly's district while removing parts of Democratic-leaning counties. The proposed map is posted on the state legislature's website.

Donnelly referenced a plan already put forth by Democrats in the Indiana state Senate, which left Democratic-leaning LaPorte County in his congressional district.

"In the Republicans' map, LaPorte County is divided between the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts and Kosciusko County is divided between the 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts," Donnelly said in a statement, arguing that the new district is gerrymandered to favor the GOP.

"Even though it appears that politics played a role in the drawing of this map, I am confident that a Democrat can win in the new 2nd Congressional District," Donnelly said, noting that he outperformed President Obama by 13 points in the 2nd District back in 2008.

"As for my future plans, my decision will ultimately be based on how I can best serve the people of this great state," he said. "I will soon be sitting down with my wife and children and expect to make a decision in the coming weeks." 

Walorski has already announced her intention to make another run for the seat next year and the map released Monday likely increases the possibility that Donnelly will opt for a statewide run. 

Donnelly has said he would wait on approval of new district boundaries before making an official decision on whether to run for reelection in 2012 or jump ship for a Senate or gubernatorial campaign.

Late last month, Donnelly indicated that he was leaning more toward a run for Senate in 2012 than a bid for the statehouse. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is widely expected to jump into the governor's race; some Indiana Democrats see a Senate race as more winnable for the party next year, especially if State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) knocks off Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) in the GOP primary.

-Updated at 2:35 p.m.

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