US senator John Ensign resigns from leadership role after admitting extra-marital affair

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Senator John Ensign
Image: United States Senate.

John Ensign, the junior senator for Nevada has resigned his role as the Republican Policy Committee Chairman of the United States Senate one day after admitting having an extra-marital affair with a member of his campaign staff. Ensign, who had been in the role as chairman since January 2001, said that he had been involved in an affair between December 2007 and August 2008. He has stated that he will remain in the US Senate.

The Washington Post has called him a 'rising star' in the Republican Party and considered Ensign as a potential candidate in the 2012 United States presidential election.

Ensign told reporters that the affair "is the worst thing I have ever done in my life. If there was ever anything in my life that I could take back, this would be it."

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell accepted his resignation during a phone call. The campaigner with whom Ensign had the affair is married to a fellow aide. Neither has worked for the senator since May 2008.

Both Senator Ensign and his aide refused to comment on his long-term political future.