Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) said today he will consider running to replace retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.).

In a statement released shortly after Bayh announced his decision, Ellsworth said he will discuss the matter with his family before making a decision.

"I heard about the news during my annual Open Door Listening Tour this morning, and I appreciate the support of those Hoosiers who have already encouraged me to run for Senator Bayh's seat," Ellsworth said. "

"The next step will be taking a few days to talk to my wife and to folks in Indiana about where I can best serve our state. In the meanwhile, I will continue to travel throughout the 8th District this week listening to Hoosiers about the challenges they face and their ideas for getting our economy back on track."

Ellsworth will almost certainly not be able to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot by tomorrow's noon deadline, but he could be chosen by the Indiana Democratic Party after the deadline has passed.  

Ellsworth, a former sherriff, is a centrist, pro-life Democrat who was first elected to Congress in 2006. He was re-elected in 2008 with 64% of the vote.