Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) resigned Thursday from the House Ethics Committee in preparation for her upcoming bid for a seat in the Senate.
“It is because of my high regard for the Ethics Committee and its vital, non-partisan role enforcing the standards of official conduct in the House of Representatives that I make this decision,” Hirono wrote in her letter of resignation to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
“I want to ensure my status as a candidate for higher office does not in any way cause the work of the Ethics Committee to become fodder for politics or partisanship,” Hirono wrote.
Hirono was elected to Congress in 2006 and is in the middle of her third term representing Hawaii’s 2nd district. She announced in May that she would run for the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Daniel Akaka (D), and she is likely to face a crowded and competitive Democratic primary.
The Ethics Committee — which is considering referrals from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics regarding Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and two staffers — accepted her resignation without objection.
Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) will take Hirono’s spot on the committee.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.