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May 25, 2017

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In open forum, nobody questions Ensign about pending investigation

Republican Sen. John Ensign says that only the media asks him about his legal troubles.

Today, that was true.

Ensign visited ITT Technical Institute in Henderson for a tour and question-and-answer session with students, faculty and local business people. About 85 people attended.

Over the course of a half hour, Ensign took four questions - about the economy, the war, manufacturing and politics. Not a single person asked about, or even mentioned, the fact that Ensign is under federal investigation to determine whether he illegally tried to cover up an affair with a former campaign staffer, who also was his best friend's wife.

"It was an open forum," ITT Tech spokeswoman Yazel Vasquez said. "Whatever was on their minds, they could ask. Obviously, they were a little more concerned about the economy and the war."

Ensign himself offered to answer questions about any topic.

"Anything you want to ask, anything is fair," he told the group. "I don't duck questions."

True to his word, when asked by the media after the event, Ensign did answer questions about the pending investigation and his future plans. He just didn't give very specific answers.

Ensign wouldn't say whether he plans to seek re-election.

"I enjoy talking to people," he said about the half dozen meet-and-greets he took part in over the past two days. In addition to ITT Tech, Ensign visited the Wonder Bread/Hostess Cakes factory, Henderson Chamber of Commerce and Arsenal Inc.

When asked why he thinks constituents should fund his legal defense, Ensign said only: "If they want to help, that would be great."

Ensign recently sent out a fundraising letter asking supporters to help pay for his "difficult legal battle." In the letter, Ensign pointed out that people can donate up to $10,000 each.

Only on Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle did Ensign give a straight answer. He said he thinks she will win.

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