WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a new setback for the struggling Republican party, U.S. Senator John Ensign resigned from a party leadership post on Wednesday after admitting an affair with a female staffer.
"He's accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized to his family and constituents. He offered, and I accepted, his resignation as chairman of the (Senate Republican) Policy Committee," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.
Ensign's resignation causes another headache for the Republican Party, which preaches "family values" and has been scrambling to rebuild in wake of losing the last two congressional elections and the White House in 2008.
Ensign, of Nevada, led failed efforts by Republicans to pick up seats in last year's Senate elections, which left Democrats in control of the chamber with 59 of the 99 filled Senate seats.