February 10, 2011 in Nation/World

Congressman quits after e-mailing shirtless photo

Carolyn Thompson Associated Press

(Full-size photo)

Webb won’t seek re-election in 2012

 WASHINGTON – Sen. James Webb, D-Va., said Wednesday that he would not seek re-election, giving Republicans a good shot at picking up the seat in 2012.

 Webb said he would step down after one term – he defeated Republican Sen. George Allen in a close 2006 contest – to return to the private sector.

 He is the third Democrat or Democratic-leaning independent to say he would retire rather than seek re-election. The departures could increase the Republicans’ prospects of gaining seats and perhaps a majority in the Senate, where Democrats now hold a 53-47 edge.


CLARENCE, N.Y. – A married New York congressman accused of sending a shirtless photo of himself to a woman abruptly resigned Wednesday, saying he regretted actions that had hurt his family and others.

The gossip website Gawker reported Wednesday that Rep. Christopher Lee, a two-term Republican with a young son, had e-mailed the photo to a woman he met on the Craigslist classified-ads website.

Lee said in an e-mailed statement that his resignation was effective immediately. The statement offered no confirmation or details of a Craigslist posting.

“I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” Lee said in a statement posted on his congressional website. “I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.”

A woman described as a 34-year-old Maryland resident and government employee provided Gawker with e-mails she said were an exchange between her and Lee in response to an ad she placed last month in the “Women Seeking Men” section of Craigslist.

Gawker reported that Lee identified himself as a divorced lobbyist and sent a photo of himself posing shirtless in front of a mirror. It said the woman eventually broke off the contact with Lee after becoming suspicious that he had misrepresented himself.

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