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Indiana Republican Resigns in Sex Scandal

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., plans to resign from Congress Friday because of what he called a mutual relationship with a part-time aide.

"I sinned against God, my wife, and my family," Souder said in prepared remarks he planned to deliver in Fort Wayne Tuesday.

Souder, who his married with three children, said he is resigning rather than putting his family through a painful process in Washington where "any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain."

"By stepping aside, my mistake cannot be used as a political football in a partisan attempt to undermine the cause for which I have labored all my adult life," Souder said.

Souder, 59, had just survived a competitive primary but was expected to be re-elected in his heavily Republican district. The Democratic nominee is Tom Hayhurst, who got 46 percent of the vote against Souder in 2006.

House Minority Leader John Boehner had no comment on Souder's announcement, according to a spokesman.

Souder said that after leaving office Friday, he plans to focus on repairing his marriage, earning back the trust of his family and community, and "renewing my walk with my Lord."

A former congressional aide, Souder was first elected in the GOP wave in 1994.

He's known as a policy wonk and a conservative who has said his religious faith guides his politics.

"If you scratch behind any of my positions, you find my religious beliefs," Souder previously told Congressional Quarterly's Politics in America.

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