Craig, a Republican, kept his word not to run this fall, officially ending his tenure in the Senate.
It was been a tumultuous year for the three-term senator, after Craig was arrested last June in an undercover sex sting in a Minneapolis airport bathroom. Although Craig initially pled guilty and kept the arrest under wraps, the story broke in the media in August, touching off a firestorm in which Craig was stripped of his seniority by Senate Republican leadership.
Craig, however, maintained his innocence, saying that the male undercover police officer in the bathroom misinterpreted his actions and tried to withdraw his guilty plea, giving the world the infamous “wide-stance” defense in reference to alleged contact between the two men’s feet between a bathroom stall divider.
At an emotional press conference in Idaho on Sept. 1, Craig denied the charges, proclaiming “I am not gay. I never have been gay,” but vowed to resign by Sept. 30.
However, Craig changed his mind and vowed finish his term in the Senate and to fight to have his guilty plea overturned. The move brought him widespread condemnation from his fellow Republican lawmakers, while late night comedians monitored the ups and downs of the saga with glee.
In February, the Senate Ethics Committee scolded Craig in a letter for his behavior.
Craig’s legal team filed an appeal earlier this year; however the Minnesota Court of Appeals has yet to set a date to hear it.
Thirteen candidates have filed for Craig’s seat, led by Republican frontrunner Jim Risch, Idaho’s current lieutenant governor.