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Ensign resigns GOP leadership post after affair

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Ensign of Nevada resigned his Republican leadership post Wednesday, one day after confessing marital infidelity.

He was head of the Republican Policy Committee and offered his resignation in a phone call with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the party leader, who accepted it.

Aides refused to answer questions about records showing that a woman on his political payroll received a promotion and a pay raise around the time he said the affair began in late 2007.

Nor would Ensign or aides respond to reports of an earlier affair, in 2002.

Ensign, 51, has said he intends to remain in the Senate.

The Nevada lawmaker is a member of the Promise Keepers, a men's Christian group that espouses devotion to family and marriage. He has also championed causes pushed by the GOP's conservative religious base while seeking to raise his political profile for a possible presidential campaign.

Staffer admits affair: Cindy Hampton, 46, a former campaign aide to Ensign, confirmed her involvement Wednesday in an extramarital affair with the conservative Republican. She lamented his decision to "air this very personal matter" and said she eventually would tell her side of the story.

Ensign resigns GOP leadership post after affair 06/17/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 10:16pm]
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