Ensign Expected to Resign

Senator John Ensign (R-NV) “will announce as soon as tomorrow that he plans to resign from the Senate, according to a well-placed source,” Roll Call reports.

The Nevada Republican announced March 7 that he would not run for re-election in 2012, saying “there are consequences to sin,” referring to an extramarital affair he admitted having with the wife of his former top aide.

According to the Huffington Post, his departure “could clear the way for Nevada’s Republican governor to appoint Rep. Dean Heller (R) to the seat, giving the GOP an incumbent in 2012.”

Ensign’s full statement is linked here. He says his resignation is “effective as of May 3, 2011.”

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued the following press release statement:

“From fighting Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada to protecting Lake Tahoe in the north, I have appreciated John’s partnership in working with me to address our state’s needs. He was a strong advocate for Nevada, and worked for many years to improve our state. My relationship with the Ensign family began many years ago with his father, Mike, a pioneer who has been a force in Nevada gaming and tourism for decades. I know this is a difficult time for the family and I wish them all well as they work through it.”

Update (4/22): According to the AP, the “Senate Ethics Committee said scandal-scarred Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign made the right decision to turn in a letter of resignation Friday, and indicated a nearly two-year probe of his conduct wasn’t over.”

The panel’s chairman, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and the vice chairman, Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, issued a terse statement saying the committee had spent 22 months investigating “and will complete its work in a timely fashion.”

The investigation was expected to end with Ensign’s resignation.

“Senator Ensign has made the appropriate decision,” the statement said.

Update (4/23): Political Wire summarizes some questions being raised as to the timing of this resignation.

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Filed under Election, Party Leadership

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