A video has surfaced that shows Rep. Vance McAllister kissing a female staff member at his office.
The 40-year-old Louisiana Republican has been married for 16 years, according to the Ouachita Citizen,
which obtained a copy of the video.
The encounter allegedly occurred Dec. 23, 2013 at McAllister's office in Monroe, La.
The Ouachita Citizen identifies the woman as 33-year-old Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, who works as McAllister's direct scheduler.
McAllister released a statement Monday afternoon about the matter.
"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness," McAllister said. "I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether your a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed.
"From day one, I've always tried to be an honest man. I ran for Congress to make a difference and not to just be another politician. I don't want to make a political statement on this, I would just simply like to say that I'm very sorry for what I've done.
"While I realize I serve the public, I would appreciate the privacy given to my children as we get through this."
The Federal Election Commission, according to the Citizen, reports that Peacock donated $5,200 to McAllister's congressional campaign last year. Her husband, Heath Peacock, donated the same amount.
McAllister spoke about his Christian faith during his campaign last fall, even asking voters to pray for him in one TV commercial.
McAllister gained national attention when he was endorsed by
members of the Robertson family, the stars of the popular TV show "Duck Dynasty," last year. He defeated state Sen. Neil Riser in the election by a margin of almost 20 percent in November.
Many people said the high-profile endorsement tipped the scales in McAllister's favor, as he was the underdog — even on election day itself.
"When Willie and Jep and Jase did what they did for me, I'm sure it certainly didn't hurt at all," said McAllister, referring to the show's cast members.
McAllister said they even came by to congratulate him after his victory.
"We had just wrapped up with all my TV interviews and everything, and I was talking to some friends and family," McAllister said at the time. "And, next thing I hear is, 'Willie is here.' And, I turned around and, oh, my goodness, it's like Grizzly Adams walking up behind you. He told me he was proud of me. And, I told him, 'Well, boy, I appreciate it.'
"Phil, Jase, and Willie and Jep, and even Si, they are amazing, true Christians. And, you know, what y'all see on TV, and I've known them before any of this all came about, they are some wonderful people."
McAllister and his family have apparently been friends with the Peacocks for years. Heath Peacock and McAllister grew up three miles from each other, according to the Citizen, and graduated from Forest High School during the 1990s.
McAllister previously worked with Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock for 16 years at Mustang Engineering. He left his post there last August before winning the 5th District
congressional seat that was left vacant by Rodney Alexander, who resigned in the middle of his sixth term to take a job in Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration.
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