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Vance McAllister says he has ‘no regrets’. And that Congress still ‘sucks’.

On Monday, embattled Rep. Vance McAllister (R) announced that he will not seek reelection to his Louisiana seat in light of the release last month of a video showing the married congressman kissing a staff member.

Then-newly-elected Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., waits to be sworn in on Capitol Hill. McAllister says he's asking his family and constituents for forgiveness after a West Monroe newspaper published a video that it says shows the congressman kissing a female staffer in his congressional office in Monroe, La. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

McAllister missed several votes in the weeks following the video's release, but was back in Washington on Monday for the first time since the mini-scandal broke.

After casting his vote, he spoke briefly with a handful of reporters. Here's what he had to say (edited for length):

Do you have any regrets?

No regrets. No regrets at all. It's a lot easier to judge something from a distance than to see it first hand. First hand, it's not what everyone thinks it is. It's not all that glamorous. Y' all saw the reports where I said the job sucks. And it does if you do what you're supposed to do and you're not up here trying to be some semi-celebrity..

I have no regrets at all because in the short time I've been here there have been some wonderful things that I've been able to accomplish and do. ..

I don't have no regrets. I don't have no regrets at all. There's a reason for everything, man. There's a reason that I did what I did, and there's a reason I got caught...which was to get my marriage there is good out of everything.

Why didn't you resign?

First of all, obviously, I did nothing to break the law, the people elected me 60- 40 to do this job. For me to resign leaves them voiceless, it leaves them unrepresented... that never was an option. The commitment I made to them was to fill this seat for one year. And that's what I did. Never once did I say that I would be reelected. That's their choice. For me, I've got to focus on me and my family. That's why I'm not running for reelection.

The commitment I made to them was to fill this seat for one year.

Have you heard at all from your fellow members of Congress?

They've been so supportive and so good to me. I can't complain. The level of friendships -- and that comes from both sides, Democrat and Republican, -- in the short time I've been here I've built some real good relationships and friendships...

I'm not a politician ... that's pretty obvious to you all now, everyone.

So what's next for you?

I don't know. I'm going to focus on my wife and my family... whatever the calling is, it's obvious I'm not afraid to step in anything.

Do you know who released the video?

No, you know... in time it'll come out. I knew the guns were on me, and I gave them the bullet... It'll come out. The truth will set you free...

It's time to go to work... I've admitted what I did, I never once sat here played a game ... with "it wasn't me." I take responsibility for it, and I have taken responsibility for it and it's time to move on.

Did you get any pressure from the GOP House leadership to resign?

None whatsoever.... [in] the one conversation I had with the speaker he just told me that I had some decisions to make and that, whenever I did, let's talk.

Were you surprised that Gov. Bobby Jindal wasn't that supportive of you during the scandal?

Wasn't that supportive? (laugh). Look, it's no secret, Governor Jindal wasn't for me before, and wasn't for me after. So no, I'm not surprised....

I'll continue to work with Governor Jindal on anything he wants to work on. I'm not a vindictive person, unlike most people in politics.

Wesley Lowery is a national reporter covering law enforcement and justice for the Washington Post. He previously covered Congress and national politics.



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