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A sexual fling by another “family values” Republican resulted Tuesday in a swift resignation as Rep. Mark Souder admitted dorking a part-time female member of his staff.
Souder becomes the third Indiana Congressman to step down this year and the second to leave under an ethical cloud. GOP Rep. Steve Buyer quit under fire over a questionable spending by a foundation he established to fund college scholarship. Rep. Brad Ellsworth is leaving to run for the Senate.
Buyer and Ellsworth will finish out their terms but Souder is leaving immediately and a special election will be set for find someone to finish out his term, which ends at the end of the year.
Sounder claims to be an evangelical Christian who champions family values. He opposes gay marriage, has been married since 1974 and has three grown children and two children.
But neither his wife or other members of his family were anywhere to be seen Tuesday as Souder stood alone and admitted his affair and said “I am so ashamed to have hurt the ones I love. I am sorry to have let so many friends down, people who have worked so hard for me.”
Souder added: “I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff.”
The “part-time” member of the staff and, apparently, full-time mistress of the Congressman is Tracy Jackson, a 40-year-old married woman whose role was to interview Souder for a radio spots that aired on a Christian radio station in Fort Wayne.
Public records show Souder hired Jackson in 2004 and paid her over $12,000 in 2009 for her once a week radio gig.
A video featuring Jackson interviewing Souder was pulled from the Congressman’s YouTube account Tuesday.