The chief of staff for Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) is resigning, reports the Las Vegas Sun.
John Lopez has worked with Ensign since the mid-1990s. He was named chief of staff in 2006, replacing Scott Bensing.
But, as TPMmuckraker reported last month, Lopez had to split his chief of staff duties with Doug Hampton — the husband of Ensign’s mistress, Cynthia Hampton, who was also a former Ensign staffer. A source familiar with the situation told us that Lopez was less than pleased with the arrangement, which had him handling political and legislative work and Hampton running the Washington office and staff.
Lopez was also unhappy about Hampton’s religious ties to Ensign, the source said, and many aides felt Hampton was unqualified for the position. The attitude among the more secular staffers was, “Hey, this is the boss’s religious buddy. We’re not gonna bitch about him, but we don’t really like him,” the source said.
Ensign’s office has not yet confirmed Lopez’s departure.
Lopez is known by Republicans as a “talented staffer,” according to the Sun. We wonder if he’s cutting ties with the embattled senator in order to keep his own political career intact.