U.S. Sen. Larry Craig resigns over sex scandal

Saturday, September 1, 2007

United States Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) resigned Saturday, five days after Craig's arrest for lewd conduct in a public restroom was first reported.

In a news conference in Boise, Idaho, Senator Craig apologized for his actions, but insisted that he had not engaged in gay sex, and that the June 11 incident at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport was a misunderstanding.

"To Idahoans I represent, to my staff, my Senate colleagues but most importantly to my wife and my family, I apologize for what I have caused. I am deeply sorry," Craig said Saturday. "I have little control over what people choose to believe but clearly my name is important to me. And my family is so very important also. Having said that, to pursue my legal options as I continue to serve Idaho would be an unwanted and unfair distraction of my job and for my Senate colleagues."

It was revealed on Monday that Craig pled guilty to disorderly conduct after allegedly soliciting sex in the men's room of a Minnesota airport. Craig, who voted against gay marriage and gay rights bills numerous times over the course of his 17-year career in the Senate, has denied rumors about his sexuality since the 1980s, when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Craig's resignation is effective September 30. His replacement, who will serve until January 2009, will be named by Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter; it is believed that Idaho Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch will be named to the post.

Further developments to this story are available. See:
Republican leaders accused of double standard after Larry Craig's resignation