UPDATES with Ensign announcement.
At this rate, the Senate will be overrun by freshmen in 2013.
Republican Senator John Ensign, once considered a potential presidential candidate in 2012, said he won’t seek reelection next year.
The decision comes nearly two years after he admitted to having an affair with a female staffer whose husband also worked for him.
“There are consequences to sin,” he said at a news conference in Las Vegas. Ensign said the campaign was likely to get especially “ugly” and he did not want to put his family through that.
Ensign becomes the third Senate Republican to announce he won’t seek reelection, following Assistant Senate Republican Leader Jon Kyl of Arizona and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas.
Five members of the Senate Democratic caucus have said that they won’t seek another term next year: Democrats Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Jim Webb of Virginia, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.