‘Kissing congressman’ Vance McAllister won’t seek re-election

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana GOP Rep. Vance McAllister won’t seek re-election this fall after being caught on video kissing a married female aide, but he’ll serve out the remainder of his term, his chief of staff said Monday.

Top Republicans in the state, who had called McCallister’s behavior embarrassing, welcomed the news.

“While we still believe the best course of action would have been for congressman McAllister to resign so he can focus on his family, we are pleased congressman McAllister and constituents in the district can begin the process of putting this unfortunate situation behind them,” GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement.

Likewise, state Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere said that while he would have liked to see McAllister “close this chapter sooner, I was happy to hear of his decision to do what is best for his family and his constituents.”

McAllister chief of staff Adam Terry told The Associated Press on Monday that the Louisiana congressman, who is married and a father, intends to complete his term. He will not be on the ballot in November.

A video released earlier this month showed McAllister kissing aide Melissa Peacock at his office.

McAllister apologized and Peacock resigned, along with another official suspected of releasing the video. But top Republican officials in the state, including Jindal, called on the congressman to step down.

McAllister has stayed out of public sight since the scandal erupted, saying he would be with his family during Congress’ Easter recess. He could not immediately be reached Monday for comment about his decision.

A businessman with no political experience, McAllister won a special election in November 2013 to represent the district centered in the state’s northeast and central parishes, surprising the GOP by handily defeating the Republican establishment candidate.

A spokeswoman for former Rep. Rodney Alexander, whose resignation forced the 2013 special election won by McAllister, said Monday that he will not seek election to the seat.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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