Updated: Tuesday, 18 May 2010, 6:45 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 18 May 2010, 9:29 AM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH/AP) - Indiana Congressman Mark Souder says he'll resign from Congress effective Friday after admitting to an affair with a woman who worked in his office.
The 3rd District Republican said in a statement read to reporters in his office Tuesday that he has "sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff."
A number of sources identify the staff member as Tracy Jackson, who appears in videos produced by Souder's office including one where she questions Souder about abstinence only sex education.
The Fort Wayne Congressman just survived a primary challenge and was preparing for a November re-election bid. Souder, 59, said he also would not be a candidate in the fall election.
"I believe it is the best decision for my family, the people of northeast Indiana and our country," he said in the statement.
"In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain," he said. "I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process."
Souder won the Republican primary over car dealer Bob Thomas, who spent much of his own money on television commercials portraying Souder as a career politician who wasn't a true fiscal conservative.
Souder countered by emphasizing his A-plus marks from the National Rifle Association and 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
Souder had been expected to face a stiff challenge from Democrat Tom Hayhurst, a former Fort Wayne city councilman who lost a close race to Souder in 2006.
Souder did not provide details about the affair.
"As I leave public office, my plans are focused upon repairing my marriage, earning back the trust of my family and my community, and renewing my walk with my Lord," he said.
Souder will be replaced in a special election to be called by the governor. It will take place in no less than 60 days. GOP party leaders will choose a nominee in a caucus that will be held in the next 30 days.
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