INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh is launching a bid to again represent Indiana in the U.S. Senate.

Bayh announced Wednesday that he would seek to make the political comeback. Two days earlier, former U.S. Rep. Baron Hill cleared the way by withdrawing as the Democratic nominee.

Bayh complained of the partisanship and gridlock when he left the Senate in 2010, but says he "can no longer sit on the sidelines."

Bayh's return boosts the chances of Democrats to win the seat held by Republican Sen. Dan Coats, who is retiring.

National Democrats pushed for Bayh to enter the race, seeing him as having a better chance to defeat GOP candidate U.S. Rep. Todd Young as Democrats seek to gain the four or five seats they need to win Senate control.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Senator Jon Tester has released the following statement:

“At a time when our country is so divided across party lines, we need more leaders committed to putting aside these differences to confront our greatest challenges. Evan Bayh’s record as Indiana’s Governor and U.S. Senator reflects this very commitment. A bipartisan problem-solver, Evan has always put Hoosiers first – striving to make Indiana all the better, whether it was working to cut taxes or steadily increasing funding for K-12 and expanding access to higher education. Evan has once again shown his commitment to the people he’s served by stepping forward to make sure middle class Hoosiers have a true voice in the Senate. We look forward to working to elect him this fall."

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jeff Cardwell has released the following statement:

"The Indiana Democrats are so desperate to put together a 'winning' ticket for November that they placed another re-tread, out-of-touch, lobbyist on the ballot. Evan Bayh is not the solution to the troubles and out of control problems in Washington, D.C. He states that the reason for joining the race is that the political process is too partisan- let's not forget that that is the same reason he gave for leaving the Senate in 2010. We need a Senator that will fight every day for Hoosiers in Washington, that will keep the ideals and concerns of Hoosiers at the center of his campaign, and won't leave when the job becomes too hard. We have all of that and more in Todd Young."

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