Now others can move forward. Just who those others are remains to be seen just yet.
The most persistent names are 2012 nominee John Gregg. Gregg came close to defeating Mike Pence in November of 2012 after trailing by a wide margin early in the race. I believe that Gregg has earned the right to try again. So, we'll see how this time goes should he decide to run.
Another possibility is former State Senator and Gregg's Lt. Governor-nominee from 2012, Vi Simpson. Simpson has been interested in the job in the past, and she, like Gregg, would have some good name recognition having just run in 2012. Simpson might be the most popular candidate with the base of the party, but she might have trouble getting to the center.
Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott is also a potential candidate in 2016. McDermott has said that he might be interested in a run, and he would be an interesting entry into the race. Unlike Gregg or Simpson, McDermott has less name recognition than the more well-known previous candidates.
There are any number of other possible candidates for the job. The Democrats bench is deep. Mayors like Greg Goodnight and Pete Buttigieg could launch credible campaigns. The Mayors need to be reelected first in 2015. I haven't heard much about General Assembly members wanting to move to the executive branch, but the Democrats have some rock stars like Christina Hale that could find a strong voice. Old hats like Baron Hill and Brad Ellsworth are also still out there.
There's also a good chance that the Democrat that runs is not listed above. I guess we'll see. Bayh's exit leaves this whole thing wide open. Now, the question is...what does Bayh do with that campaign treasury?
We'll find out soon!