McAllister won't rule out reelection bid

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) isn’t completely ruling out a run for reelection this fall.

“I can tell you my intent is not to run for reelection,” McAllister told the Alexandria Town Talk. “To say I’m 100 percent sure, I would never box myself in like that.”

"My intention today: I'm not running," he continued. "But I'm leaving my options open."

The embattled congressman faced calls to resign from the chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) after a video of him kissing a staffer who is not his wife went public.

He ignored those calls and spent time with his family back in the district until the end of recess, and when returning to Congress in April, said he planned to serve out his term but wouldn’t run for reelection. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) subsequently suggested he resign as well, another call McAllister declined.

"We've had a lot of supporters come out and say 'You decided too quick' " not to seek reelection, he told a Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Meanwhile, Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) on Monday reportedly commended McAllister for his decision not to run for reelection, and said he would back state Sen. Neil Riser (R), McAllister’s former runoff opponent, if Riser runs again.

In remarks to the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce on Monday, McAllister said that while it had been “a tumultuous past month ... by the grace of God, I’m going to be fine because I have a loving, forgiving wife.”

McAllister has until the state's filing deadline in late August to decide if he wants his name on the ballot for his current seat again in November. Louisiana holds an all-party contest on Election Day, and if no candidate reaches 50 percent, the top two face off in a December runoff. 

While his immediate plans are unclear, the congressman does seem open to another run for office sometime in the future.

“I’ve said all along, it will be the people’s choice what I do in the future, as long as it’s right for my family,” he said. “I have a whole new respect for public service, both good and bad, and I have to say the good outweighs the bad. It’s up to the voters to forgive me in any race in the future.”

His wife, Kelly McAllister, who was by his side when he returned to Congress, pledged, “I’m behind him 100 percent in whatever decision he makes, and I’ll continue to be behind him.”