US Senator Larry Craig resigned tonight as Senate co-chairman for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, within hours after news broke of Craig's guilty plea to disorderly conduct after an incident in a men's bathroom.
"Senator Craig has stepped down from his role with the campaign. He did not want to be a distraction and we accept his decision," Romney's campaign said in a statement.
The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reported today that Craig pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of disorderly conduct after he was arrested in June at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men's public bathroom.
Craig denied any "inappropriate conduct" and said his actions had been misconstrued.
In February, Romney announced that Craig of Idaho and Robert Bennett of Utah would serve as co-Senate liaisons.
"Both men have a unique perspective of the new generation of challenges confronting our nation," Romney said in the statement announcing their roles. "I look forward to working with them to find the solutions needed to ensure that our country remains a strong world leader."
In May, Romney's campaign announced that Craig would be co-chairman of the Romney for President Idaho Leadership Team.
"Our government is in need of a proven leader like Governor Romney, who will put in place benchmarks and streamline our government using proven conservative principles," Craig said in the Romney campaign's statement. "His message is resonating with voters and I'm looking forward to helping him on his way to winning the Republican nomination."
After reports of Craig's arrest, the Romney campaign made private a YouTube video in which Craig also praised Romney. That move was first reported by The Politico website.