In a statement dated Friday, embattled Republican Senator John Ensign announced that he would be resigning from office effective May 5th. Ensign had been plagued by scandal since 2009 stemming from an affair he had with the wife of a senior aide as well as his parents attempting to pay the mistress and her husband $96,000 in hush money.
Earlier, Ensign had announced that he wouldn't run for re-election in 2012 when his seat came up. Congressman Dean Heller (R, NV-2), Tea Party-backed Sharron Angle and Democrat Shelley Berkely have all expressed an interest in running for Ensign's senate seat next year.
Nevada law calls for Gov. Brian Sandoval to appoint a placeholder to fill out the remainder of Ensign's term in the Senate. Speculation has been that Sandoval will name Congressman Heller to Ensign's vacant seat. If that is the case, that would mean that he would also have to call for a special election for the Congressional seat vacated by a Heller appointment to Senate.
Unlike New York state, special Congressional elections are unheard of in the Silver State- no prior appointment by the governor has left an opening in the state's national delegation.
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