Days after a leaked videotape showing married Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister kissing a now-former aide, the Republican freshman congressman is getting a lesson in crisis management 101.
While McAllister issued an apology and asked forgiveness from God and his family, GOP lawmakers are distancing themselves from the scandal, according to The Associated Press.
Jason Dore, executive director of the Republican Party of Louisiana, wouldn't answer questions about whether the GOP congressman should stay in office or resign, and colleague Jeff Duncan, a Republican representative from South Carolina, also avoided reporters’ questions on the subject, according to Politico
"I will say that I have lifted up Vance and his family in prayer," Duncan told reporters.
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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also sidestepped the question when asked if McAllister should resign, saying he was pleased McAllister apologized and that he would "reserve further judgment," according to AP.
The 40-year-old married father of five who ran as a Christian conservative is up for re-election in November, just a year after winning a special runoff election for the seat vacated by Republican Rodney Alexander.
Before being elected to office, McAllister, an Army veteran, worked in the oil, gas, and pipeline businesses and owns three Subway sandwich shops, according to Reuters
A month after winning the special election in November 2013, a grainy office building surveillance video captured McAllister making out with married aide, Melissa Hixon Peacock, who with her husband is a longtime friend of McAllister and his wife. Peacock resigned after the video’s release on the Ouachita (La.) Citizen website.
Melissa Peacock’s husband, Heath Peacock, was a high school classmate of McAllister, according to CNN
. He told the cable news network that the congressman "wrecked my life," and he plans to divorce his wife.
The McAllister campaign is trying to track down the leaker, according to Politico. The owner of the office building where the video was filmed has denied any involvement and the (Monroe, La.) News Star has reported
that a local pastor claimed McAllister’s district office manager gave the footage to two men, one a state senator, involved in Louisiana politics. Both men and the aide have denied the allegation.
The News Star has also reported that McAllister plans to ask House Speaker John Boehner for an FBI investigation to find out who leaked the video from a security camera in McAllister’s Monroe District Office.
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