In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Harry Reid and John Ensign Duel Over Prostitutes

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Newscom / John Locher

Reid was raised in Searchlight, Nevada and made frequent mention of growing up around the city's brothels in his recent memoirs as well as in various speeches. Nonetheless, local political observers told the Wall Street Journal they were shocked to see him wade into the issue so forcefully, given his lack of opinion on the topic of legalized prostitution in the past.

Ensign currently faces a difficult re-election campaign this year should he choose to run after admitting to an affair with a married staffer. The Senate ethics committee has appointed a special prosecutor to look into the case.