Rep. Mark Souder, R-Indiana, suddenly announced his resignation Tuesday, after admitting that he “sinned against God” by engaging in a relationship with a member of his staff.
The 59-year-old married father of three, decision could damage the Republicans’ chances of holding onto the GOP-leaning district in north-eastern Indiana. Souder won a bruising Republican primary on May 4 “I believe it is the best decision for my family, the people of northeast Indiana, and our country,” an emotional Souder said at a news conference in his district. “I will submit my resignation to Speaker Pelosi effective this Friday.”
Souder, politically a social conservative, made the stunning revelation that he had an inappropriate relationship outside of his marriage but offered no more details. Sources say the aide Souder is alleged to have an affair with is Tracy Jackson, a part-time aide who worked in his northern Indiana district office.
“I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff,” he said. “In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C, any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain. “I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process,” he added.
Souder has been married to his wife, Diane, since 1974, according to the biography on his office website. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.