Vance McAllister Kisses Congress Goodbye

The Louisiana Republican won’t seek reelection, but doesn’t plan to resign.

National Journal
Sarah Mimms and Elahe Izadi
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Sarah Mimms and Elahe Izadi
April 28, 2014, 10:06 a.m.

Three weeks after video foot­age show­ing him kiss­ing a staffer leaked to the press, Re­pub­lic­an Rep. Vance Mc­Al­lister of Louisi­ana an­nounced Monday that he won’t seek an­oth­er term in of­fice.

Mc­Al­lister — dubbed “the kiss­ing con­gress­man” — told the Mon­roe, La., News-Star that he and his wife Kelly reached the de­cision Monday. “I am com­mit­ted to serving the 5th Dis­trict to the best of my abil­ity through this term, but I also have to take care of my fam­ily as we work to­geth­er to re­pair and strengthen the re­la­tion­ship I dam­aged,” Mc­Al­lister said.

The first-term con­gress­man and his wife will be in Wash­ing­ton Monday as the House re­turns from re­cess, “be­cause she knows it’s go­ing to be a firestorm when I get there and she didn’t want me to face it alone,” Mc­Al­lister told the pa­per.

The an­nounce­ment comes after top state Re­pub­lic­ans, in­clud­ing Gov. Bobby Jin­dal, called for Mc­Al­lister to resign.

House Speak­er John Boehner nev­er ex­pli­citly called on Mc­Al­lister to step down, leav­ing it up to the fresh­man to make his own de­cision. “I ex­pect all mem­bers to be held to the highest eth­ic­al stand­ards, and this is no dif­fer­ent…. He’s got de­cisions that he has to make,” Boehner said earli­er this month.

Mc­Al­lister was elec­ted to Con­gress just last Novem­ber in a hotly con­tested race for re­tir­ing Rep. Rod­ney Al­ex­an­der’s seat. State Sen. Neil Riser, the es­tab­lish­ment pick who lost to Mc­Al­lister in a run­off, could run again in Novem­ber. Riser had the back­ing of Jin­dal, Al­ex­an­der, and House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor, among oth­ers.

Al­ex­an­der, who resigned in Au­gust to take a job in the Jin­dal ad­min­is­tra­tion, has not ruled out run­ning for Con­gress again. “If I felt like the people of Louisi­ana and the 5th Dis­trict wanted me for a par­tic­u­lar pur­pose or of­fice, I am will­ing to serve them,” he told his loc­al pa­per not long after the scan­dal broke.

The fil­ing dead­line for can­did­ates is Aug. 22 to make it on to the Novem­ber bal­lot. Louisi­ana has a “jungle primary” sys­tem in which can­did­ates from all parties com­pete in a single gen­er­al elec­tion, with a run­off slated for Dec. 6 if no can­did­ate re­ceives 50 per­cent of the vote.

Luck­ily for Re­pub­lic­ans, Mc­Al­lister’s dis­trict is solidly red. Louisi­ana State Rep. Jay Mor­ris and Louisi­ana busi­ness­man Har­ris Brown have ex­pressed in­terest in the seat.

Mc­Al­lister will have one of the shortest con­gres­sion­al ca­reers in state his­tory, with the 15th shortest ten­ure since Louisi­ana of­fi­cially be­came a state, ac­cord­ing to Smart Polit­ics. As­sum­ing he leaves of­fice in Janu­ary, Mc­Al­lister will have served 413 days in Con­gress.

The con­gress­man’s of­fice re­leased this full state­ment from Mc­Al­lister Monday af­ter­noon:

The past few weeks have been a try­ing time for my fam­ily. As I’ve said be­fore, there’s no doubt I’ve made a mis­take. I’ve failed those I care most about and let down the people who elec­ted me to rep­res­ent them. I take full re­spons­ib­il­ity for this per­son­al fail­ure and I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done. I have taken this time to re­con­cile with my wife and kids and I’m forever grate­ful for their sup­port and for­give­ness. The people of the Fifth Dis­trict of Louisi­ana need and de­serve a voice in Wash­ing­ton. Today, I am an­noun­cing that I will not seek re-elec­tion, but I will con­tin­ue to be that voice and will up­hold the of­fice to which I was elec­ted to serve for the re­mainder of my term.

What We're Following See More »
CHINA OBJECTS
U.S. Destroyer Sails Close to Artificial Chinese Island
29 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

A Navy destroyer sailed within 12 miles of an artificial island built by China in the South China Sea, one of several such islands at the center of territorial disputes with other nearby nations. The U.S. called it a "freedom of navigation exercise." Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang "said China had lodged stern representations to the U.S over the patrol and that such moves were not conducive to peace and stability in the South China Sea."

Source:
MINIMUM 2 PERCENT GDP
Trump Tells NATO Countries To Pay Up
1 hours ago
BREAKING
OVER LEAKS
U.K. Police No Longer Sharing Manchester Info With U.S.
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
MANAFORT AND FLYNN
Russians Discussed Influencing Trump Through Aides
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Source:
DAY BEFORE ELECTION
Montana House Candidate Charged With Assault
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican candidate for the state's lone House seat, was cited for misdemeanor assault Wednesday night after he allegedly body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. Jacobs entered a room in which Gianforte was preparing to give an interview to Fox News, and asked Gianforte about the recently released CBO score on health care legislation, at which point, according to an account from Fox News's Alicia Acuna, Gianforte put both hands around Jacobs's neck and slammed him to the ground. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office put out a statement saying there was probable cause for the citation but not the injuries required for it to be considered a felony. Gianforte's aide put out an erroneous statement saying Jacobs grabbed Gianforte by the wrist after aggressively putting a recorder in Gianforte's face.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login