Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Ensign Is First Nevada Senator to Resign Before Election Day

Bookmark and Share

Embattled Nevada Republican U.S. Senator John Ensign's announcement Thursday that he will resign from his seat effective May 3rd adds even more political intrigue in a state that will have open seat races in four of its five federal legislative seats on the ballot in 2012, in addition to being a key bellwether state in the presidential election.

Ensign is one of just two Senators in Nevada history to resign from office before the end of his term, and the only one to do so for more than technical, procedural reasons.

The only other Senator from Nevada to resign from office of the two dozen who have served the Silver State over the last 146 years is Democrat Alan Bible.

Bible, who was retiring at the end of his term in January 1975, resigned a few weeks early in mid-December 1974 to give his successor Republican Paul Laxalt seniority in that year's incoming freshman class.

Ensign, however, is resigning nearly 19 months before the end of his term, as he continues to be dogged by an ethics investigation stemming from an extramarital affair he had with the wife of his former top aide.

Every other Senator in Nevada history (besides Bible) has opted to serve their state until the end of their term - or the end of their life.

Here is how the other 21 Senators from Nevada left office:

· Nine Senators lost their election bids: Democrats James Fair, Howard Cannon, and Charles Henderson, and Republicans George Malone, William Massey, J. Chic Hecht, James Nye, Tasker Oddie, and Ernest Brown.

(Massey and Brown were appointed Senators who remained in office after their election defeat until their respective duly elected successors were qualified to serve).

· Two Senators lost their renomination bids, but continued to serve out the remainder of their term: Democrats Berkeley Bunker and Edward Carville. (Bunker was an appointed Senator who served until his duly elected successor, James Scrugham, was qualified to serve).

· Five additional Senators died in office: Republican George Nixon and Democrats Key Pittman, James Scrugham, Francis Newlands, and Pat McCarran.

· Another five Senators from Nevada opted not to run for reelection, but still served out their term to the very last day: Democrat Richard Bryan, Republican/Silver Senator John Jones, and Republicans William Stewart, William Sharon, and Paul Laxalt.

With Ensign's early exit, expectations around D.C. are that U.S. Representative Dean Heller, the Republican front runner for Ensign's seat in 2012, will be appointed to the seat in May by Republican Governor Brian Sandoval.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: House Republican Committee Chairs Enjoy Huge Spike in Fundraising
Next post: Can Haley Barbour End Mississippi's Presidential Drought?

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting