Senator John Ensign (R-NV) To Retire

Real Clear Politics is reporting

john ensign

that Nevada Senator John Ensign will announce his retirement from public life this afternoon.  The scandal-tarnished Republican was considered to be one of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents of the 2012 election cycle.  His decision to step aside makes US Rep. Dean Heller the front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination.  Should he be nominated, Heller would be considered the favourite to hold the seat in the general election.

That said, the possibility looms of a Tea Party challenge to Heller in the GOP primary.  A divisive GOP primary that nominates a Tea Party candidate could significantly improve Democratic chances of capturing the seat.  US Rep. Shelly Berkeley has expressed interest in seeking the Democratic nomination.

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