Craig to Stay in Senate 'for Now'

GOP leaders react grimly as Craig prolongs the effort to retract his guilty plea
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2007 8:25 PM CDT
Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which brought the charges against Sen. Larry Craig, speaks to reporters outside the Hennepin County District Court in Edina, Minn....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – GOP leaders listened in icy silence as Larry Craig vowed today to stay a senator while trying to change his guilty plea, the AP reports. A Minnesota judge says he will decide the matter sometime next month. "Today was a major step in the legal effort to clear my name," Craig said. But his lawyer admits that the effort to withdraw his plea is "near impossible, and it should be."

Craig's announcement will spark an ethics investigation into the senator's  infamous bathroom incident—a probe that would have been avoided otherwise. His statement also muddled the search for a replacement, which includes almost 30 prospects. "Until he receives a letter of resignation, we have no vacancy, therefore, there is no replacement," says an aide to Idaho's governor.