Vance McAllister, the "Duck Dynasty"-backed Louisiana congressman who highlighted his conservative values and 16-year marriage during his campaign, was caught kissing a female staffer in a video released this week.
The Ouachita Citizen first published the video clip
, ripped from a Dec. 23 surveillance video recorded at McAllister's Monroe, La., district office, on Monday. In the video, 40-year-old McAllister can be seen passionately kissing Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, a 33-year-old part-time staffer.
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"There's no doubt I’ve fallen short and I’m asking for forgiveness. I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve," McAllister, a Republican, said in a statement late Monday. "Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you’re 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 just be another politician."
McAllister defeated state Sen. Neil Riser 59.7 percent to 40.3 percent in November to claim Louisiana's 5th Congressional District. Riser, also a Republican, was expected to win the runoff election after receiving backing from prominent members of the GOP.
But it was McAllister who came out on top after talking up his conservative Christian values and scoring an endorsement from members of the Robertson family who star on A&E's wildly popular reality show "Duck Dynasty."
"When Willie and Jep and Jase did what they did for me, I'm sure it certainly didn't hurt at all," McAllister said in an interview with "Fox & Friends" after his win.
McAllister, who's married with five children, told The Monroe News-Star
that he told his wife, Kelly, about his infidelity in late January or early February "before the video came out."
He told the newspaper he still plans to run for re-election next year "unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people . . . If the people are willing to forgive me I’ll keep fighting. If there’s somebody more perfect than me who they support, it’s their will."
Peacock's employment with McAllister's office was terminated this week, the congressman's chief of staff told The News-Star.
The fallout from McAllister's cheating scandal was felt in full force on The News-Star's Facebook page
"'Duck Dynasty' can't bail you outta this one," one angry poster wrote. "Let's just hope he won’t got to Hell for cheating on his wife. What kinda so called christen (sic) are you? Good job reaping Louisiana and making us look like a bunch of cheating (expletive) country bumpkins. Good job."
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