GOP Happy With Ensign Decision

Nearly two years into his rehab effort, John Ensign has thrown in the towel.

The scandal plagued senator was seen as one of the few vulnerable Republican incumbents in 2012 and his withdrawal allows a very strong GOP candidate to probably  take his place - Representative Dean Heller. Heller had already been raising money and drawing support in anticipating a primary battle with Ensign, which no doubt contributed to Ensign's decision.

Plagued by a moral and ethical scandal that involved a complicated web of sex, money and power, Ensign’s path to a third term looked increasingly daunting, if not impossible.

At a news conference in Las Vegas on Monday, the 52-year-old Republican said he didn’t want to put his family through what would have been a brutal rehashing of the history of his affair with a former top aide’s wife.