Veterinarian, Senator John Ensign to exit U.S. Senate at end of term

Veterinarian, Senator John Ensign to exit U.S. Senate at end of term

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Apr 12, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Las Vegas — Almost two years after stepping down from a key Republican post, U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.), a veterinarian, will not seek re-election in 2012.

Ensign's political life erupted in 2009 following his public confession of having an extramarital affair with a women involved in his campaign.

“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,” Ensign said at a press conference last month. “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 re-election 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 re-election bid,” Ensign says.

Ensign, a 1985 graduate of Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, opened the first 24-hour animal hospital in Las Vegas. He no longer practices veterinary medicine.

Elected to the Senate in 2000, Ensign often introduced bills dealing with animal welfare and safety. He was chair of the Republican Policy Committee, but stepped down from that role in June 2009 following the announcement of this extramarital affair. Ensign had been rumored as a presidential hopeful for the 2012 election.