Ensign To Announce Resignation Friday
Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R) plans to announce Friday he will resign his Senate seat, effective May 3.
Ensign has been under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee over whether he violated Senate rules during his affair with Cindy Hampton, a former campaign aide. Hampton’s husband, Doug Hampton, was Ensign’s deputy chief of staff during most of the extramarital relationship.
Note, please… Republicans resign as a result of sex scandals. Democrats keep right on politicking. See, for example, Kennedy, Ted, D-Chappaquiddick.
Looks like the seat will stay in GOP hands, though, at least till the 2012 election.
Ensign’s resignation could clear the way for Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, to appoint GOP Rep. Dean Heller to fill Ensign’s seat, giving the congressman an upper hand as he pursues a full term in 2012.
Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley and businessman Byron Georgiou are already running in the 2012 Democratic primary to replace Ensign.
If Sandoval taps Heller as Ensign’s replacement, the Nevada governor would be required to call a special election to take place in six months, once he officially designates Heller’s 2nd District House seat vacant, according to state law.
The GOP has enough seats in the House that even if Heller’s seat goes to a Dem, it won’t adversely affect them… but losing Ensign’s seat in the Senate would be a bigger problem.