Republican Rep. Mark Souder Resigns

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 10:58 AM

By Jim Meyers

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Eight-term Republican Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana will resign his seat after admitting he had an affair with a female staffer.

"It is with great regret I announce that I am resigning from the U.S. House of Representatives as well as resigning as the Republican nominee for Congress in this fall's election," Souder said in a statement Tuesday morning.

"I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff . . . I am so ashamed to have hurt those I love."

The resignation was announced two weeks after Souder survived a primary challenge from car dealer Bob Thomas. Souder won with less than 50 percent of the vote in the northeast Indiana district that includes Fort Wayne.
The news was first reported by Fox News Channel. Fox did not name the female staffer.

Souder was absent from Washington most of last week. He claimed he was at home tending to his ailing wife.

Within 30 days of the Souder vacancy, the precinct chairmen and women of the counties in his district must gather to select a replacement on the ballot. One name being mentioned is state Sen. Marlin Stutzman, according to The Washington Post.

Souder said his resignation “is the best decision for my family, the people of northeast Indiana, and our country. I will submit my resignation to Speaker Pelosi effective this Friday . . .

“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.”

Souder is the second congressman to step down in less than two months. Rep. Eric Massa, a New York Democrat, resigned in March amid allegations that he sexually harassed male staffers.


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