Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D) stressed Thursday that he hasn't yet decided whether or not to run for Senate.

Ellsworth tamped down speculation -- at least for the time being -- that he would be seek to become the Democratic candidate to run for the seat left by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), who is retiring.

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

The congressman's statement comes amidst a flurry of reports that he was near declaring his candidacy.

But because neither Ellsworth nor any other Democrats will have submitted sufficient petitions to force a primary race, the state party will select a candidate to run to succeed Bayh.

Ellsworth explained his hesitance to announce his candidacy:

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.

Democrats are hoping to hang onto the seat in right-leaning Indiana, where former Sen. Dan Coats leads a pack of GOP candidates hoping to win back the seat this fall.