ed. Ensign was first elected to the Senate in 2000.

STATEMENT from Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
March 7, 2011

Las Vegas, NV – Senator John Ensign today announced his retirement from the United States Senate at the end of his term in 2012.  His remarks from today’s press conference are below.  

As many of you know, the last couple of years have been very difficult for my family, staff, friends and so many of my supporters.  I cannot express how sorry I am for the pain that I have caused everyone.

As I have learned through my mistake, there are consequences to sin.  When a person is in a leadership role, those consequences can affect a lot of people in a very negative way.

I know that God has forgiven me, and so has my wife. Darlene and I are doing better than ever and have gotten through this with a stronger marriage for which I am incredibly thankful. I can only hope that someday all those whom I have hurt or disappointed will find it in their hearts to forgive me, as well.

I have learned how important mercy and love are, and I hope to be able to share these with the people in my life who need it.

I have worked very hard to earn back the trust of the people in this state.  As I have traveled across Nevada during this time, I have encountered many challenges, but also many offers of financial support and for volunteers on my reelection campaign; I cannot tell you how very appreciative I am to those who have stood by me during some of my darkest hours.

In particular, I want to thank my loyal staff who have not only stood with me during this time, but also handled themselves with grace and dignity under very trying circumstances.  I consider them part of my extended family and will never be able to repay them for what they have done for me.

Having said all that, I have come to the most difficult decision of my life.  It has been difficult because I have never loved a job as much or been as honored to serve in any position than that of your senator.

I have tried my best to work hard and to vote consistently with the values of our state.

I do not want to put my family, those that I care about, or this state through what would be a very ugly campaign that would ultimately cause a great deal more pain than has already been felt as a result of my actions.  For these reasons, I will not seek reelection in 2012.

I have made this decision so that I can focus harder than ever before on making this country and this state better than they are today, rather than dealing with the distractions stemming from a reelection bid.

These next two years will be the fight of my life, not for my political career, but for the future of our country.  My fight will be dedicated to those who believed in me all those years ago and to all Nevadans who have elected me and trusted me to serve on their behalf.  I will serve you wholeheartedly for the rest of my term.

This is not the end; but rather the beginning of an incredible journey. There are tremendous challenges that we face as a nation, but there is also great opportunity to ensure that the decisions being made back in Washington, D.C., do not lead to the end of the road for the United States.  I am energized, but more importantly, I am committed to making sure that I meet with folks who will take the time to share their concerns with me, to share their struggle, and to join with me in creating solutions that we can achieve together.

I have until the end of 2012 to fiercely fight for the people of Nevada and against the downward spiral of our country, and fight is what I plan to do for all of you. It will continue to be the greatest honor to serve you.