Vito Fossella Will Retire At End Of 110th Congress

Rep. Vito Fossella (R-N.Y.), who recently admitted that he secretly fathered a child with a retired Air Force officer, will leave the House at the end of the 110th Congress, according to a statement he released tonight.

Fossella's retirement puts another GOP-controlled seat in play for November, and it means there could be no New York City-based Republicans in the House come the start of the 111th Congress.

Fossella was arrested on May 1 on a drunk-driving charge in Alexandria, Va. The arrest led to the disclosure that the New York Republican had fathered an out-of-wedlock child with Laura Fay. Fossella is married with three other children.

The five-term lawmaker had made some signs that he was considering a run for another term, including appearances at several Staten Island political events over the weekend.

But Fossella apparently thought better of it and has now decided to end his political career. House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has encouraged Fossella to retire, has taken a hard line on the scandal, although he refused to publicly state whether he thought Fossella should leave office.

Update - This is a statement just released by Fossella's office:

"After a great deal of consideration, I have made the decision not to seek re-election to the United States House of Representatives this November. This choice was an extremely difficult one, balanced between my dedication to service to our great nation and the need to concentrate on healing the wounds that I have caused to my wife and family.

"Despite the personal mistakes I have made, I am touched by the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received from so many people. Their kind words and prayers during this difficult time mean more to me than I can express. And while many have urged me to run for re-election, I believe this course of action is best for my family and our community."