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GOP Senator Pleaded Guilty After Restroom Arrest

The activist, Mike Rogers, who runs the Web site BlogActive.com, has complained about Craig's opposition to gay rights. The conservative senator has supported an amendment to the Constitution banning same-sex marriage and voted for the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s. Craig, who served in the National Guard, has also spoken out against homosexuals serving in the military.

Craig was a member of the "Singing Senators," a now-defunct Republican barbershop quartet. It included Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.) and then-Sen. John D. Ashcroft (Mo.), who broke up the group when he was named attorney general.

Craig was chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-ranking GOP leadership job, from 1996 to 2002. He also played a prominent role in recent immigration battles, championing rights for illegal farmworkers -- an advocacy that made the staunch conservative an unlikely target of groups opposing illegal immigrants.

Craig is married and has three grown children. He will complete his third Senate term next year, after serving 10 years in the House, and speculation has swirled for months that he may retire. Spokesman Dan Whiting said the senator will announce his decision this fall.

On June 30, Craig reported $550,000 in the bank for a reelection race, a healthy sum in the heavily Republican state.

His leading Democratic challenger is former congressman Larry LaRocco, a Boise banker and onetime Senate staffer. He already is campaigning aggressively, baling hay and laying pipe on a "Working for the Senate" tour. LaRocco reported raising $80,000 through June 30 and has lost repeated attempts at state office, including a House race to Craig in 1982 and a bid for lieutenant governor in November. He served two terms in the House in the early 1990s.

On the Republican side, if Craig does not run again, one colorful match could pit veterinarian Rex Rammell against Jim Risch, who as governor had ordered state officials to kill elk that had escaped from Rammell's ranch, in order to prevent the possible spread of disease. Rammell was arrested in September 2006 after scuffling with state wildlife officials, but he was acquitted and later sued the state for $1.3 million, according to the Idaho Statesman newspaper.

Risch has said he is interested in Craig's seat if the senator retires. Another potential GOP candidate is Rep. Mike Simpson.

Staff researcher Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.


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