Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson pulled his name from contention on Wednesday for an opening on the Senate Finance Committee, a seat conservative Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) reportedly desires.
Isakson called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) saying he doesn’t want to be considered for the vacancy created by the resignation of Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) to avoid a conflict of interest because of his role on the Ethics Committee, an aide told The Hill.
Isakson, who is vice chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, was one of the leaders of the 22-month investigation into Ensign’s conduct during an affair with a former staffer, who was the wife of a top aide to the senator.
The Senate probe forced the embattled Nevada Republican to step down last Thursday, with his resignation effective May 3.
That leaves the spot up for grabs.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who has carved out his own conservative path as a founding member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus and is seen as one of the populist movement’s leaders in Congress, is “very interested” in the spot, an aide told The Hill.