Was it family or cash that prompted John Ensign to quit Nevada’s Senate race?

Holly Bailey
April 21, 2011

Last month, Nevada Sen. John Ensign opted out of a 2012 re-election run, saying he wanted to "put his family first" in the wake of an ongoing ethics scandal over his affair with a former campaign aide.

But was that really the reason the embattled senator decided not to seek a third term in the Senate?

As the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Steve Tetreault notices, Ensign's fund-raising wasn't exactly going so well before his announcement.

Newly filed campaign reports show the senator raised less than $100,000 at a series of cash events he held in January and February, which he and his campaign had billed as a sign of his political comeback.

That's a fair amount of money, but not for a senator who needed a dramatic cash infusion to prove to Republicans back in Nevada that he would have the financial resources needed to defend his seat in what was already predicted to be a very tough race.

(Photo of Ensign: Cathleen Allison/AP)