Former U.S. president candidate Hart to be representative for Northern Ireland

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 21, 2014 6:33 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday named former Senator Gary Hart as his representative on Northern Ireland, nearly 30 years after the Democratic politician's bid for the U.S. presidency was cut short by a sex scandal.

Kerry said in a statement that Hart, 77, who in recent years gained a name as a national security expert and author, would play a "direct, on-the-ground diplomatic role."

"I’ve asked Senator Hart to support the parties in Northern Ireland as they enter a new round of talks to achieve a lasting peace," Kerry said, referring to talks that resumed on Oct. 16.

A contender for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination, Hart saw his White House dreams dashed in 1987 after a newspaper published a photo of a woman sitting on the married candidate's lap aboard a boat named "Monkey Business."

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The picture of him and model Donna Rice in the Bahamas, and newspaper reports of marital infidelity, brought Hart's campaign to a halt.

(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by David Storey and Cynthia Osterman)