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GOP candidate calls for Hastert to resign

From NBC's Mark Murray
Although most other Republicans are now rallying around Speaker Dennis Hastert, a Republican candidate running for Senate in the deep-blue state of New Jersey -- Tom Kean Jr. -- is calling for Hastert to resign from his leadership position in the wake of the Foley scandal, making him (to the best of our knowledge) the first high-profile GOP candidate to demand this. Hastert "is the head of the institution and this happened on his watch," Kean said in a recently released statement. "This disturbing situation is another reason why the public holds the Congress in such low esteem."

Kean, of course, is running against a member of Congress: incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez (D), who has been dogged by allegations of ethical wrongdoing. Kean is also running for office in a state dominated by Democrats -- but Republicans view the race as perhaps their best Senate pickup opportunity this year.