McDaniel Asks for 'Second Chance' in Ark. Governor's Race
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel spoke to the media for the first time Tuesday about a past "inappropriate," extramarital relationship, but McDaniel reiterated that he remains a candidate for the Democratic nomination in next year's governor's race.
"There is no other shoe to drop," said McDaniel. "I made a mistake, for which I have taken and continue to take responsibility, but it had no impact on my job."
McDaniel said at a press conference in North Little Rock that he met attorney Andi Davis in 2010 and had limited interaction with her in 2011, "some of which was inappropriate." He was pushed during the press conference for a timeline of his relationship with Davis but refused to get into specifics beyond phone and travel records already released by the campaign.
McDaniel's campaign has been criticized for its handling of the story. The press conference was McDaniel's first time to speak to the media since releasing a statement on Dec. 18 acknowledging the relationship.
He also used the press conference to apologize to his wife and said his staff had no knowledge of his relationship with Davis. "I am far more concerned throughout the rest of my life with being her husband than I am being governor," McDaniel said, "Although I would like to do both."
McDaniel said he felt good about his campaign and that he had met his fundraising goals for 2012. Potential challengers including former Republican Rep. Asa Hutchinson and former Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter have largely refrained from commenting.
"We are committed to moving forward with my campaign for governor in 2014, and I do so humbly recognizing that I need to earn the second chance I am asking for," said McDaniel.
During an interview with Talk Business on Tuesday, term-limited Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe said McDaniel's affair was "not helpful" to his gubernatorial bid, but he wouldn't speculate on any potential impact it could have on the Democrats' chances to keep the governor's mansion in the 2014 election.