Kissing Congressman McAllister Back in Louisiana Race

Image: Kissing Congressman McAllister Back in Louisiana Race Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.

Monday, 30 Jun 2014 01:54 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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"Kissing Congressman" Vance McAllister has had a change of heart about not seeking re-election in Louisiana and now plans to enter the race.

But the Republican's decision on Monday has been criticized by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who called it "disappointing," The News Star reported.

McAllister, who was captured on video kissing a former staff member earlier this year, officially announced his candidacy for the 5th Congressional District during a news conference as 75 supporters cheered.

After the video was revealed, the married politician pulled out of the race. But now he believes that constituents should decide whether they want him to remain in office.

"I wanted to make sure everything was good with our family," McAllister told The News Star. "Our family is stronger than ever, so I think the people should decide whether or not I continue to represent them."

His wife, Kelly, supports her husband's decision, saying, "I'm behind him 100 percent. We made this decision as a family."

McAllister, 40, said he will not be speaking about the scandal again during the campaign.

"I've publicly apologized to the people in the 5th District and more importantly worked through it with my family," he said. "I've said all I'm going to say about it. Now it's up to the voters."

Jindal said Monday that the congressman was making a mistake.

"McAllister made the right decision earlier when he said he would not run again," the governor said. "It is disappointing he changed his mind."

McAllister will be opposed in the Nov. 4 election by Republican Zach Dasher, a nephew of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson.

Dasher said he expects his famous family to back his campaign, although McAllister received support from the Robertson clan during a special runoff election last November.

Other announced candidates include Harris Brown, a Republican businessman; Ed Tarpley of Alexandria, a Republican and former district attorney; and Clay Grant, a Libertarian.

State Sen. Neil Riser, a Republican who was defeated by McAllister in last year's runoff, won't seek the seat this time around, even though he had been the presumed front-runner if he jumped into the race.

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