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Dems pick Ellsworth to face Coats in Senate race

INDIANAPOLIS – The state Democratic Central Committee has officially chosen Rep. Brad Ellsworth as the Democratic candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat.

The selection was made at a Saturday meeting.

Republicans are blasting Ellsworth for being anointed as the chosen candidate without going before voters in a primary election as did GOP Senate hopeful Dan Coats. Democrats say they couldn't have a primary because current Sen. Evan Bayh announced his retirement too close to a filing deadline.

There are political advantages to avoiding a primary. Ellsworth didn't have to spend money on commercials and Democrats challengers didn't attack him. But a Purdue University professor says primaries are also an opportunity for candidates to hone their campaigns before November.