Defending the family

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Ensign Betrayed Wife, Staff, Nevada and USA --- John Ensign's, resignation gives GOP a boost in critical Nevada Senate race

News reports state: As Democrats seek to hold onto their slim majority in the Senate, they're aiming to win some currently Republican-held Senate seats in 2012. With scandal-plagued Republican Sen. John Ensign set to retire, his Nevada Senate seat seemed to be the best opportunity for Democrats. Now that Ensign's resigning early, however, the dynamics of the race could change.

Ensign is resigning his seat today, and Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is likely to appoint Republican Rep. Dean Heller as Ensign's replacement.

Heller, a three-term congressman, was already in the race to replace Ensign. He's expected to face off against Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley. Now, Heller's likely to get 18 months to try out the job

Earlier it was reported by Bloomberg News:
"Republican Senator John Ensign of Nevada, saying he wanted to spare his family the emotional "wear and tear" of an ethics inquiry into an extramarital affair, said he will resign his office effective May 3.

He disclosed in June 2009 that he had had an affair with a campaign worker, Cindy Hampton, whose husband, Doug, was an aide on his Senate staff.

The Justice Department said last December that Ensign was no longer a target of a probe into whether a severance payment he made to Cindy Hampton was an illegal campaign contribution.

"Senator Ensign has made the appropriate decision," the Senate Ethics Committee, which had kept looking into allegations stemming from the matter, said in a statement from committee head Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, and the vice chairman, Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson.