Sen. John Ensign announced today that with “tremendous sadness,’’ he will resign from the Senate next month.
Ensign (R-Nev.), whose political fortunes plummeted after he admitted to an extramarital affair with the wife of a staff member, had previously announced that he won’t seek a third term next year.
"It is with tremendous sadness that I officially hand over the Senate seat that I have held for 11 years," he said in a statement. "The turbulence of these last few years is greatly surpassed by the incredible privilege that I feel to have been entrusted to serve the people of Nevada. I can honestly say that being a United States Senator has been the honor of my life.
When he last ran for re-election in 2006, CUNA’s PAC gave his campaign $7,000.
Ensign is being investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee and he has admitted that his family had given the woman with whom he had an affair a gift of $96,000.
Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination to succeed Ensign. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval will appoint someone to serve for the remainder of Ensign’s term.
CUNA’s PAC has supported Heller in several campaigns, and gave his campaign $5,000 last year.
Ensign, a former veterinarian and hotel manager, resigned his position in the GOP leadership after revelations of the affair. He had also traveled to Iowa to explore a possible run for president.