Lawmaker quits after admitting extramarital affair

Add another member of Congress to the list of those brought down by sex scandal.

Republican Rep. Mark Souder of Indiana, an eight termer who represents Fort Wayne, announced his resignation this morning after admitting he had an affair with an aide, calling it "the best decision for my family."

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

"In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain,” Souder said. “I am resigning rather than put my family through that painful, drawn-out process."

Souder, 59, said he wife Diane and their three adult children "were more than willing to stand here with me. We are a committed family. But the error is mine, and I should bear the responsibility.”

"The toll has been high as I leave public office," Souder said. "My plans are focused upon repairing my marriage, earning back the trust of my family and my community, and renewing my walk with the Lord."

Politico.com cited Republican sources in reporting that Souder told House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, of the affair on Sunday, and Boehner told him it was time for him to leave Congress.

In the club of lawmakers who have been entangled in sex scandals in recent years, Souder joins recently departed Rep. Eric Massa, D-N.Y., departed Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, and still-serving Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and John Ensign, R-Nev.

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