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Bayh to give state party $1 million

WASHINGTON – Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., will give the Indiana Democratic Party $1 million to help with this year's campaigns, primarily Rep. Brad Ellsworth's run against the Republican nominee in the election to replace Bayh.

Bayh, who announced last month he will not run for a third term, had $12.9 million in his campaign account as of Jan. 1. He will have to return $700,000 to some donors, but under federal campaign law Bayh has several options for the remaining $12.2 million.

He can give unlimited amounts to political party organizations or charities; he can hold onto it in case he runs for office in the future; he can make $2,000 donations to individual congressional candidates. But he can't spend the money on personal expenses.

The state party will be able to spend $857,000 on the Ellsworth campaign, an amount set by a federal formula, said Dan Parker, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party.

The party said Bayh's $1 million is the largest donation ever by an individual not on the ballot.

"Though I am leaving the Senate at the end of my term, I am determined to help Brad Ellsworth and the 2010 Democratic ticket with the financial resources they need to run a successful campaign," Bayh said.