Kissing congressman won’t seek re-election
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (AP) — A Republican congressman from Louisiana won’t seek re-election this fall after being caught on video kissing a married female aide, but he’ll serve out the remainder of his term, his chief of staff said Monday.
Top Republicans in the state, who had called Vance McAllister’s behavior embarrassing, welcomed the news. McAllister had run his election campaign on a family values platform.
“While we still believe the best course of action would have been for congressman McAllister to resign so he can focus on his family, we are pleased congressman McAllister and constituents in the district can begin the process of putting this unfortunate situation behind them,” Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement.
McAllister chief of staff Adam Terry told The Associated Press on Monday that McAllister, who is married and a father, intends to complete his term. He will not be on the ballot in November.
In a statement, McAllister apologized for conduct he called a “personal failure,” and said he spent the Easter congressional recess reconciling with his family.
“I’ve failed those I care most about and let down the people who elected me to represent them,” he said.
A video released earlier this month showed McAllister kissing aide Melissa Peacock at his office. McAllister has stayed out of public sight since the scandal erupted, saying he would be with his family during Congress’ Easter recess. He could not immediately be reached Monday for comment about his decision.
In a campaign commercial that aired during the race, he was shown with his wife, Kelly, and their five children. He said in the ad that he and his wife try to instill “the values of faith, family and country” at home.