FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WISH/AP) - Indiana Congressman Mark Souder says he'll resign from Congresseffective Friday after admitting to an affair with a woman whoworked in his office.
The 3rd District Republican said in a statement read toreporters in his office Tuesday that he has "sinned against God, mywife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-timemember of my staff."
A number of sources identify the staff member as Tracy Jackson,who appears in videos produced by Souder's office including onewhere she questions Souder about abstinence only sex education.
The Fort Wayne Congressman just survived a primary challenge andwas preparing for a November re-election bid. Souder, 59, said healso would not be a candidate in the fall election.
"I believe it is the best decision for my family, the peopleof northeast Indiana and our country," he said in thestatement.
"In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personalfailing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain," hesaid. "I am resigning rather than to put my family through thatpainful, drawn-out process."
Souder won the Republican primary over car dealer Bob Thomas,who spent much of his own money on television commercialsportraying Souder as a career politician who wasn't a true fiscalconservative.
Souder countered by emphasizing his A-plus marks from theNational Rifle Association and 100% rating from the National Rightto Life Committee.
Souder had been expected to face a stiff challenge from DemocratTom Hayhurst, a former Fort Wayne city councilman who lost a closerace to Souder in 2006.
Souder did not provide details about the affair.
"As I leave public office, my plans are focused upon repairingmy 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 bythe governor. It will take place in no less than 60 days. GOP partyleaders will choose a nominee in a caucus that will be held in thenext 30 days.
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