Souder quits, admits affair with a staffer

By Mike O’Brien and Molly K. Hooper -The Hill

Rep. Mark Souder’s (R-Ind.) stunning resignation announcement on Tuesday in the wake of his affair with a staffer has further dwindled the historic Class of 1994.

Of the 73 House GOP members elected that year, only 10 will be serving in the lower chamber next year — if they win their reelection bids.

Retirements, electoral defeats and scandal will have whittled down the number of GOP lawmakers still serving in the House from the freshman class that swept Republicans into power in the 1994 midterm elections.

Revelations of an affair with a staff member in his district office prompted Souder to announce his resignation, effective Friday.

The Indiana conservative admitted the affair, blaming Washington politics for playing a role in his decision to leave.

“I sinned against God, my wife and family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff,” he said during an emotional five-minute speech in his Indiana district on Tuesday. “In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain. I am resigning rather than … put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.”

Souder choked up on several occasions during his statement to the media, pausing at various points to compose himself.

“I do not have any sort of normal life,” Souder said.

Souder has been married to his wife, Diane, for 36 years and they have three adult children, according to the congressman’s website.

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