Rep. Helen Chenoweth, who campaigned on family values and first won office after the disclosure of her opponent's illicit affair, admitted having a long-term affair with a married man in the 1980s.
In a story Thursday, The Idaho Statesman quoted the two-term Republican as saying she regretted her six-year affair but finds her situation markedly different from that of President Clinton, whose resignation she has sought since April over the Monica Lewinsky affair."Fourteen years ago, when I was a private citizen and a single woman, I was involved in a relationship that I came to regret, that I'm not proud of," Chenoweth said. "I've asked for God's forgiveness, and I've received it."
Her comments come less than a week after another conservative Republican, Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, admitted to fathering a child from an extramarital relationship in the early 1980s. Burton has been a leading critic of Clinton but has focused mainly on campaign fund-raising, not his private life.
Chenoweth's office in Boise did not respond to a request for further comment.
Chenoweth's admission came as her campaign began airing television advertisements in which she accuses Clinton of damaging the presidency and then pointedly asks Democratic challenger Dan Williams, "Where do you stand, Dan?"
"I believe that personal conduct and integrity does matter," Chenoweth says in the ad. The newspaper, in an editor's note, said it decided to pursue a story about the relationship because of the ads. There had been rumors about the relationship for years.
But in admitting her own indiscretion, Chenoweth told The Statesman, "My private life was my own life. I am a single woman. After the divorce, I dated."