Political Scandal Figure / U.S. Senator
Date Of Birth:
20 July 1945
Place Of Birth:
Near Midvale, Idaho
Best Known As:
The Idaho senator who was arrested for lewd conduct in 2007
Larry Craig is the U.S. senator from Idaho who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in 2007 after being arrested on a charge of lewd conduct in a Minnesota men's room. Craig graduated from the University of Idaho in 1969, spent a few years in the family ranching business, and was elected to the Idaho State Senate in 1974. In 1981 he moved up to the U.S. Congress, representing Idaho's First District. He was re-elected four times and then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1990, 1996, and 2002. As a senator he was a proponent of reduced government and a reliable conservative on social issues like abortion, gay marriage, and gun control. (He joined the board of directors of the National Rifle Association in 1983.) In August of 2007, the newspaper Roll Call reported that Craig had been arrested on suspicion of lewd conduct at Minneapolis International Airport on 11 June 2007, and that he had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. A few days after the story broke, Craig held an extraordinary news conference in Boise at which he denied wrongdoing and said, "I am not gay. I never have been gay." Craig announced that he would resign his Senate seat, but then changed his mind and filed legal papers in Minnesota to withdraw his guilty plea, saying he had mistakenly agreed to the plea in a "state of intense anxiety" after his arrest. He ended his appeal in January of 2009, effectively concluding the case with the guilty plea intact. He did not run for reelection in 2008, and was succeeded by Republican James Risch.