Republican Sen. John Ensign announced Monday that he will not seek re-election in 2012 but that he will serve out the remainder of his term.
“I just came to the conclusion that I couldn't put my family through this," said the Nevada senator, who said that he had “fully planned” to run for re-election until coming to the decision to retire last week.
Ensign, whose fast-rising political career was derailed after he admitted to an affair with a campaign aide whose husband served as his deputy chief of staff, said that a pending Senate ethics investigation into his conduct had “zero effect” on the decision not to run for a third term.
Ensign allegedly helped the aide’s husband find a new job, and Ensign’s parents paid the couple $96,000.
"There are consequences to sin and when you’re in a leadership role, those consequences can affect a lot of other people," Ensign said during a press conference announcing his retirement from the Senate.
“At this point in my life, I have to put my family first,” he added.
Read more about the politics of Ensign’s decision here.