Sen. Larry Craig Wades Into Senate Matters but Stays Far From Capitol Hill

Sen. Larry Craig has been sending press releases from Idaho commenting on U.S. Senate matters, including U.S. Iraq war policy, but the Idaho lawmaker who is under fire after his guilty plea in a bathroom sex sting said Thursday he may never return as a lawmaker to Washington, D.C.

Craig, a 62-year-old Republican, remains in Idaho, said Sid Smith, a spokesman in Boise.

"He doesn't have any plans to go back to D.C. next week," Smith said. "That doesn't mean he won't, just nothing is planned. Everything is still up in the air. We're still debating about whether he'll be returning to the Capitol, at all."

Craig said two weeks ago he planned to quit on Sept. 30, then indicated there was a slim chance he would try to stay in the U.S. Senate if he's able to undo his Aug. 1 guilty plea to the reduced misdemeanor charges.

The next hearing in the case is Sept. 26.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter hasn't named a replacement for Craig, whose staff declined to say when — or if — he would make an official resignation announcement.

"He hasn't decided on a date to make an announcement, or if an announcement is necessary," Smith said. "Obviously, we're still planning on resigning."

Otter has said he'll choose a Craig replacement from a list that includes Attorney General Lawrence Wasden; Lt. Gov. Jim Risch; state Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell; state Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden; and former state lawmaker Dane Watkins. Otter hasn't said when he'll name the successor.