'Kissing congressman' flips on reelection

Greg Nash

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) on Monday said he would seek reelection, reversing a previous decision after the married congressman was caught kissing a former staff member earlier this year. 

Now, the Louisiana congressman said he thinks his constituents should make the decision on whether he continues to serve. 

"I wanted to make sure everything was good with our family,” McAllister said in an interview with the News Star. “Our family is stronger than ever, so I think the people should decide whether or not I continue to represent them.”

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During the interview conducted along with his family, his wife said she is "100 percent" behind the decision. 

In April, McAllister announced he would not seek reelection after a local newspaper published a video showing security camera footage of McAllister and his former staffer kissing in his district office. At the time, he resisted calls to resign from national and state GOP officials, vowing to serve out his term. 

A month later, McAllister said he was "leaving my options open," failing to rule out another run for reelection. 

“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 said he would begin raising money for his reelection bid but will also contribute his own money to the race. In last year's special election, which he won to succeed the retiring Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.), the majority of money spent on his campaign came from self-funding.

State Sen. Neil Riser (R), who McAllister beat last year, won't run again even though polling had shown he would be competitive with the congressman. But Zach Dasher, a nephew of "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson, has announced his candidacy. During his first run, McAllister received support from the popular Robertson family. 

— This post was updated at 11:13 a.m.