John Ensign To Resign U.S. Senate Seat In Nevada; Dean Heller Likely To Be Appointed As Replacement

Embattled Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R) announced Thursday night that he will resign from office in early May, a move that comes amid an ongoing ethics investigation into his conduct.

His departure comes as the Senate ethics committee is conducting an ongoing investigation into his handling of an affair with a former political aide — whose husband was also a top legislative aide to the senator.

Ensign’s resignation will allow newly elected Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to appoint an interim replacement until the 2012 election next November.

Rep. Dean Heller, a Republican who is running to succeed Ensign, is the clear frontrunner for the appointment and would almost certainly benefit politically from spending the next year as the incumbent senator from the Silver State.

Read more from Chris Cillizza, Paul Kane at The Washington Post

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