COPY-Republicans breathe sigh of relief as Craig departure seems almost certain - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

COPY-Republicans breathe sigh of relief as Craig departure seems almost certain

Associated Press - September 6, 2007 4:23 PM ET

CAPITOL HILL (AP) - Senator Larry Craig says it's likely Idaho will have a new senator in October -- and Republican senators are voicing relief.

After announcing over the weekend that he plans to step down at the end of this month, Craig had hinted he might instead try to complete his term, which ends in early 2009.

A spokesman today says the "most likely scenario" is that there will be a new senator next month.

Senate Republican leaders had been alarmed by the possibility that Craig might try to stay. They had already stripped him of his committee leadership posts. And yesterday, they pushed harder to persuade him to step aside. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he thought Craig made the "correct decision" when he announced he'd be resigning.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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