Another retirement: John Ensign won’t run for reelection

posted at 3:40 pm on March 7, 2011 by Allahpundit

Fantastic news. Between his affair with an ex-staffer and the endless ethics committee investigation into payments made to her and her husband (a special counsel was appointed just last month), the guy was a dead man walking. Against Ensign, this would have been a gimme pick-up for Democrats in a year when they’re expected to lose the Senate. Now it’ll be close and, like Reid’s race against Angle, war to the bitter end.

Ensign made the announcement today during a noon news conference at the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas. He isn’t resigning his seat — simply not pursuing his re-election in 2012.

He said he came to the decision in the last week or so, adding that a Senate Ethics Committee investigation had “zero effect” on the decision not to seek re-election.

“I just came to the conclusion that I couldn’t put my family through this,” he said.

He’s the third Republican (Kyl and Hutchison are the others) and eighth senator overall to pack it in this year. Sharron Angle insisted after losing to Reid that she has “lots of options” for 2012, but if she couldn’t harpoon Dingy Harry while riding the big red wave of 2010, realistically there’s no way GOP primary voters will gamble on her again. In fact, according to a PPP poll taken in December, 68 percent of Republicans think they should have nominated someone else last year. This time the nominee’s likely to be Rep. Dean Heller, whose favorable rating in that same poll was 46/23 and who led probable Democratic nominee Shelley Berkley 51/38 in a hypothetical match-up. He led three other Democratic candidates head-to-head too; Ensign, by contrast, trailed all four. Today is a good day, my friends.

Any Nevadans want to chime in on Heller or other possible nominees? A quick check of Wikipedia reveals that he voted against TARP, so he’ll be off to a good start with tea partiers.


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Senator Angle.

portlandon on March 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM

CUDA!

rickyricardo on March 7, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Good Riddance. Dirty politicians need to be exposed and removed on BOTH sides of the aisle. May someone ethical and concerned about our country’s future emerge as a candidate.

search4truth on March 7, 2011 at 3:43 PM

T-PAW!!11!1!! That’ll get butts in seats!

Kataklysmic on March 7, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Any Nevadans want to chime in on Heller or other possible nominees? A quick check of Wikipedia reveals that he voted against TARP, so he’ll be off to a good start with tea partiers.

The brief list of votes on Wikipedia looks very promising. As long as he doesn’t stumble like Lowden did, he seems like a great choice for 2012.

Doughboy on March 7, 2011 at 3:46 PM

another look at sue lowden???

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Just say no to Sharon Angle. Pretty please?

Knucklehead on March 7, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Senator Angle.

portlandon on March 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Are you serious? Are you serious right now?

KingGold on March 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Any Nevadans want to chime in on Heller or other possible nominees?

I hear that Charlie Sheen just bought a condo in Reno.

percysunshine on March 7, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Are you serious? Are you serious right now?

KingGold on March 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////X 100

portlandon on March 7, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Joe Heck, now is the time to make your move.

JohnGalt23 on March 7, 2011 at 3:53 PM

another look at sue lowden???

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 3:46 PM

(Expletive Deleted) Sue Lowden with a red-hot poker.

JohnGalt23 on March 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM

If we can get the tools to run Nepot the Second, err “Rory” for the seat, we could run O’Donnell and win.

A Balrog of Morgoth on March 7, 2011 at 3:55 PM

I think the old man from Pawn Stars should run.

Mark1971 on March 7, 2011 at 3:55 PM

I would say beware a run from Oscar Goodman, but I think he likes 24-drinking outlets too much to leave Vegas.

JohnGalt23 on March 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM

24-hour drinking outlets, that is.

JohnGalt23 on March 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM

It occurs to me that I didn’t pay enough attention to the Nevada race to know why Angle lost.

Count to 10 on March 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Ensign of the times?

pugwriter on March 7, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Christine O’Palin has the momentum. She should run….be a shoe in.

rickyricardo on March 7, 2011 at 4:03 PM

It occurs to me that I didn’t pay enough attention to the Nevada race to know why Angle lost.

Count to 10 on March 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Consider yourself lucky.

Mark1971 on March 7, 2011 at 4:05 PM

What about Tarkanian? Was he a bad candidate or just invisible in a 3-way race?

alwaysfiredup on March 7, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I think the old man from Pawn Stars should run.

Mark1971 on March 7, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Chumlee for Senate!

Abby Adams on March 7, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Chumlee for Senate!

Abby Adams on March 7, 2011 at 4:10 PM

He’s a whole lot smarter than dingy Harry…

sandee on March 7, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Chumlee would actually raise the average IQ of the Senate.

Mark1971 on March 7, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Addition by subtraction.

OhioCoastie on March 7, 2011 at 4:14 PM

CUDA!

rickyricardo on March 7, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Christine O’Palin has the momentum. She should run….be a shoe in.

rickyricardo on March 7, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Hey there, Shawn. I’m glad to see that the FBI sent you back to Pennsylvania.

steebo77 on March 7, 2011 at 4:14 PM

I’m confused, AP…
Is this the Bad News “Good News”
Or the Good Good News?

Haiku Guy on March 7, 2011 at 4:16 PM

In 2012, will the SEUI be counting ballots like in 2010?

Will there be a power outage like there was in 2010, keeping polls open an extra 2 hours in the Las Vegas inner city like in 2010?

angryed on March 7, 2011 at 4:19 PM

In 2012, will the SEUI be counting ballots like in 2010?

Will there be a power outage like there was in 2010, keeping polls open an extra 2 hours in the Las Vegas inner city like in 2010?

angryed on March 7, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Do you always whine this much?

We lost in Nevada because we had a questionable candidate, and the Reid campaign ran a nearly flawless campaign.

I know. I was there.

JohnGalt23 on March 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM

“Are you here to Pawn or sell your President?”

search4truth on March 7, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Now the GOP can run a prostitute to offset the one we already have in DC.

jcrue on March 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

It has to be Lowden or Heller for the GOP to keep the seat. Everyone else is a joke.

Then again, the Dems can run Rory again and it wouldn’t matter who the GOP ran…

jcrue on March 7, 2011 at 4:35 PM

It has to be Lowden or Heller for the GOP to keep the seat. Everyone else is a joke.

Then again, the Dems can run Rory again and it wouldn’t matter who the GOP ran…

jcrue on March 7, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Lowden is crazier than Sharron Angle!!!!

She started ranting about bartering chickens for health care and that was the end of her!

Palin stayed out of that race because her dad and brother endorsed Tarkanian. I’m not sure he’s worth the effort this go-round though.

gary4205 on March 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Ensign Resigns should have been the headline.

Do the right thing Jonny-Boy and resign, so the guv can appoint someone else, sooner than later, to get the headstart on 2012.

AH_C on March 7, 2011 at 5:01 PM

I think the old man from Pawn Stars should run.

Mark1971 on March 7, 2011 at 3:55 PM

I agree!..:)

Dire Straits on March 7, 2011 at 5:05 PM

gary4205 on March 7, 2011 at 4:46 PM

I assume you are completing ignoring the context of Lowden’s bartering exchange, huh?

Because if one isolated comment when taken that far out of context is your decider, I guess you don’t vote.

jcrue on March 7, 2011 at 5:13 PM

BTW, gary4205, do you LIVE here in Nevada like I do?

jcrue on March 7, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Has Christine O’Donnell moved to Nevada yet? I assume she still has rent to pay.

It's Vintage, Duh on March 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM

It’s Vintage, Duh on March 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM

ROFL!..:)

Dire Straits on March 7, 2011 at 6:18 PM

JohnGalt23 on March 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM

okey doke

cmsinaz on March 7, 2011 at 6:28 PM

Good…

Gohawgs on March 7, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Good riddance…

Khun Joe on March 8, 2011 at 5:24 AM

Good riddance, indeed. Dirtbag.

Jaibones on March 8, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Today is a good day, my friends.

Indeed. Stay in your cage, Angle.

Jaibones on March 8, 2011 at 1:36 PM