Mulling Re-Election Bid Despite Scandal, Ensign Gears Up Fundraising

May 27, 2010 12:06 p.m.

After everything that’s come out about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), it seems implausible that he could run for office again. But he may be thinking about doing just that.

The Nevada Republican has been planning fundraisers and making calls to donors, with a view to a possible re-election bid in 2012, reports the Los Angeles Times.As we reported last month, the scandal-tarred philanderer raised just $50 — all from one donor — in the first quarter of 2010. But he brushed off the paltry haul, telling the paper: “We just took some time off,” and adding: “We’re getting it geared back up.”

If he does decide to run, Ensign, a conservative Christian, will certainly face some obstacles. Last June, he admitted to an affair with the wife of a top aide, Doug Hampton. When Hampton left Ensign’s office in the wake of the affair, Ensign reportedly helped set him up as a lobbyist. And Ensign’s parents made a payment of almost $96,000 to the Hamptons. The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are both currently investigating whether the senator violated lobbying rules or other laws during the saga.

A few Nevada Republicans have called on Ensign to step down, but most members of this party, both on Nevada and Washington, have been non-committal.

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