WASHINGTON — Attorney General Dick Thornburgh will resign to seek a Senate seat vacated by the death of Sen. John Heinz (R) of Pennsylvania. President Bush Tuesday said Mr. Thornburgh would leave the Justice Department at the end of July. Until then, Thornburgh will continue to be a key administration point man in negotiations with Congress on a civil rights bill and the Republican crime package.
Thornburgh, a popular and respected two-term Republican governor of Pennsylvania, became the nation's 76th attorney general in the waning months of the Reagan administration. Although he came to Washington with a sterling reputation, his tenure was marked by controversy almost from the beginning.
The GOP has placed a high priority on keeping the Senate seat under GOP control, even though a Democrat holds it on a temporary basis.