Vance McAllister Not Seeking Reelection After Cheating Scandal

Vance McAllister Not Seeking Reelection After Cheating Scandal

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) announced Monday he will not seek reelection, according to the News-Star in Louisiana.

McAllister's announcement follows controversy over a surveillance video showing him kissing a female staffer.

A video of McAllister and his district scheduler Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock kissing surfaced April 7 on The Ouachita Citizen. Peacock was "taken off the payroll" shortly after, while McAllister initially said he would not step down.

"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness," McAllister said in a statement. "I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve."

Several lawmakers have called on McAllister to resign, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere and state Rep. Robert Johnson (D), a potential challenger to the U.S. Congressman. On April 10, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he expects "all members to be held to the highest ethical standards," and noted McAllister's "got decisions that he has to make."

McAllister notably pushed his conservative values, his family and his faith during his campaign for Congress last year. In one ad, he appeared with his wife children and vowed to "defend our Christian way of life" if elected.

Below, more from the AP:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A top official in Rep. Vance McAllister's office says the Louisiana Republican will not seek re-election.

McAllister chief of staff Adam Terry told The Associated Press Monday that McAllister intends to complete his term. The congressman from Schwarz, Louisiana, previously had said he would not resign. The general election is in December.

A video released earlier this month showed McAllister kissing a female aide at his office.

After the video was released, McAllister apologized. The aide resigned. Another aide accused of releasing the video later resigned.

McAllister, a married father of five, has stayed out of public sight, saying he would be with his family during Congress' Easter recess. He could not immediately be reached Monday for comment.

UPDATE -- 3:24 p.m. ET: McAllister issued the following statement 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.

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