Nevada Sen. John Ensign

April 22, 2011 by USA Post 

Nevada Sen. John Ensign, Nevada Republican John Ensign, who admitted having an extramarital affair with a staff member of the campaign, said Thursday he would resign from the Senate on May 3.

Ensign, 52, announced last month he would not seek reelection in 2012. He had been facing an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee arising from the affair.

“While I’m behind my firm conviction that I have not violated any law, rule or standard of conduct of the Senate, and have struggled to show it publicly, do not continue to subject my family, my constituents and the Senate any research rounds, statements, drawn out proceedings or, especially, public hearings, “said Ensign.

“For my family and me, this ongoing personal cost is simply too great,” said the senator in a statement.

Ensign submits a letter of resignation to the Vice President Joe Biden, who is also chairman of the Senate, on Friday, the statement said.

Republican governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval appoint a temporary replacement, another Republican is expected to fill the remaining 20-month term of Ensign to that there was no change in the balance of power in the Senate.

Democrats now control the Senate 53-47.

Ensign admitted to having an affair in with Cynthia Hampton, who worked for his campaign, and whose husband, Douglas, was a senator’s legislative assistant.

The Senate investigation centered ethics of some parents and 96,000 gave the Hamptons Ensign, Ensign’s lawyer characterized as a gift.

The leaders of the Senate Ethics group said in a joint statement that Ensign “has made the right decision.”

Douglas Hampton was indicted last month on suspicion of trying to pressure and seek help from his former employer on behalf of their new employers, an airline and an energy company.

Ensign is the third Republican on the Senate to decide not to seek reelection after Assistant Senate Republican Leader Jon Kyl of Arizona and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.

Five Democratic senators have said they will not seek another term next year: Daniel Akaka of Hawaii Democrat, Jim Webb of Virginia, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

Two representatives of Nevada, Democrat Shelley Berkley and Republican Dean Heller, as they compete for the seat of Ensign.

Jennifer Duffy, who follows Senate races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said the resignation could mean an advantage for Republicans in what is expected to be a hotly contested race in 2012.

“Republicans take benefit Republican governor appoints Heller, offering the benefits of incumbency and fundraising increases,” said Duffy. “That said, I still believe that race is a toss-up.”

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