Embattled Rep. Vance McAllister is running for reelection


This photo taken Nov. 21, 2013 shows then-newly-elected Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) waiting to be sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Embattled Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) announced Monday morning that he will run for another term, reversing course from his earlier decision to step aside amid a personal scandal earlier this year.

"Without a doubt this decision comes after much thought and prayer," McAllister said in a statement. "This district has been home to me and my family all of my life. I know the needs of this congressional district very well. I also know that this district needs a strong, conservative voice in congress. I plan to continue to stand up for our veterans, bring common sense solutions to our nation's problems and most importantly I will fight to get our fiscal house back in order."

The congressman received widespread criticism after a video surfaced in April of him kissing a member of his staff who has since left his office. The married congressman said earlier this year that he would not run for reelection. But in recent weeks, he started to re-open the door to another campaign.

In an interview with the News-Star newspaper of Monroe, McAllister said he will not talk about the scandal in his 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.”

McAllister will face several competitors for the GOP nomination in his conservative-leaning 5th district. Republican Zach Dasher, the nephew of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson, is running for the seat. That's notable because McAllister won a special election last year with the support of Willie Robertson, Phil Robertson's son, who cut an ad for him. The 5th district is home to the Robertson family.

Other Republicans have also entered the race.

McAllister's decision goes against the grain of many top Republican leaders who'd prefer he leave office. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) called on McAllister to resign in April when his scandal erupted.

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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