Ensign Admits Affair; Nev. Senator Is Rising GOP Star

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2009 5:36 PM CDT

(Newser) – John Ensign, a Republican senator from Nevada said to be considering a presidential run in 2012, admitted today that he had an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer, reports Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post. "It's absolutely the worst thing I've ever done in my life," he said at a press conference. "I'm very sorry." His wife, Darlene, backed her husband and said their "marriage has become stronger" in a statement.

Ensign reportedly had the affair from December 2007 until August 2008 with a woman who worked on his re-election effort. First elected in 2000, Ensign has become a conservative leader in the party, and Cillizza notes that he led the calls for Larry Craig to resign after Craig's arrest for solicitation in a men's bathroom. Ensign traveled to Iowa this month to headline a conservative lecture series, setting off speculation about a 2012 bid.