Republican Rep. Vance McAllister of Louisiana won't resign from office after admitting to kissing a staffer who is not his wife. McAllister, who successfully ran a Christian values-based campaign for a special election last November, gave an interview to the Monroe News-Star late on Monday to apologize for his indiscretion. "Unless there is an outcry for me not to serve," McAllister told the paper, he would run again. He added that "so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people."
McAllister has had a rough 24 hours after the Ouachita Citizen posted a video to its site showing the congressman and Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock embracing and kissing. McAllister told the News-Star that he told his wife about the indiscretion earlier this year, and that it was "absolutely" his first affair. He and his wife are “still together and trying to work through this difficult time," he said. The couple have five children. He added:
“I have fallen short as a husband and a father, and I feel more ashamed than you can imagine. I’ve asked them for forgiveness, and I’m asking forgiveness from my constituents who elected me to serve them.”
As it turns out, not everyone involved in the apparent affair will be keeping their jobs: McAllister's office told the paper that Peacock, the part-time staffer caught on video with the congressman in his Monroe district offices, was removed from the payroll soon after the video became public. Both McAllister and Peacock are married. Peacock and her husband, Heath Peacock, each contributed $5,200 to McAllister's campaign, the maximum allowed under election law.
McAllister is just months into his freshman term in the House, after winning former Rep. Rodney Alexander's seat during a special election last November. The businessman campaigned on a "faith, family, and country," heavily featuring both his Christian values and his family commitment in his campaign materials. Until yesterday, McAllister was probably best-known nationally for bringing one of the Duck Dynasty guys to the State of the Union.