INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Rep. Baron Hill, who has faced weeks of rumors that he'll retire from Congress next year to run for Indiana governor in 2012, said he is considering a gubernatorial bid but will first run for another term in the House.
Hill's comments came just days after the National Republican Congressional Committee sent out an e-mail about the Indiana Democrat's so-called "retirement jitters."
The term actually came from a Congressional Quarterly story about Democrats who are retiring and those in tough districts. Hill was part of a larger list of "Democratic incumbents in competitive districts who will now be closely watched for retirement jitters."
Hill told The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., that he doesn't know how the rumors that he will retire from the House got started.
"I'm running for re-election," said Hill, who is serving his fifth term representing southern Indiana's 9th District.
"I want to go back. We're working on things like health care and energy independence, and we're now on the brink of getting these things done. But they're not done to my satisfaction. I want to go back to refine them."
Asked about rumors that he may run for Indiana governor in 2012, Hill replied: "I'm honestly thinking about it."
But he added that he had fundraisers planned to support the congressional race.
In 2010, Hill may face Republican Todd Young of Bloomington, who has mounted an active campaign. But first, Young will face Travis Hankins, of Columbus, in the GOP primary.
Last week, Young sent reporters an e-mail -- now posted on his Web site: toddyoungforcongress.com -- about Hill's trip to the NATO Parliamentary Conference in Scotland.
The Wall Street Journal, which detailed that trip, said many House members who attended skipped meetings to go shopping and sightseeing and left before the conference ended. It also accused the group of spending thousands on hotel costs.
"Darn, that must have been some tough work!" Young wrote on his Web site.
Young also asked Hill to detail which sessions of the NATO Parliamentary Conference he attended, "what he learned, and how he plans to make use of this knowledge."
Hill acknowledged going on the trip and taking along his wife, Betty. He said he did not miss a meeting at the conference, "with the exception that I had to get back for votes in Congress."
The meetings included discussions of Afghanistan and other international issues. Hill said they are an important way for members of Congress to learn where leaders from other countries stand on key issues, which can affect their votes back home.
"These are weighty issues," he said. "They should not be diminished by political shenanigans."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)