Donors aren't puckering up for 'kissing congressman'
© Greg Nash

Embattled Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) raised less than $16,000 in the third fundraising quarter as he struggles to keep his seat just months after he was caught kissing a married woman.  

New Federal Election Commission reports show that McAllister received donations from 13 donors, other than himself, and four outside groups. He also spent $230,000 over the period that ran from July through September but kept his campaign out of the red with a $400,000 personal loan. He still has roughly $193,000 in the bank. 

The anemic cash haul comes as McAllister faces a tough challenge from within his own party in his bid for his first full term. All four of the other GOP candidates running against him raised more money over the same period. Zach Dasher, a relative of the Robertson family of AMC’s “Duck Dynasty” fame, led the way with $326,000.

How about this: In the fundraising quarter before the scandal, McAllister raised about $47,000 and hadn't loaned the campaign a cent. But he does have a history of self-funding; he gave his campaign a $420,000 loan during his special election campaign.

McAllister won a special election in 2013, but less than a year later, a Louisiana newspaper released surveillance footage from his district office that showed him kissing a married staffer. The public backlash against the married McAllister, who championed his conservative values during his election, caused then-House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorEric Cantor offering advice to end ‘immigration wars’ Trump's olive branch differs from the golden eras of bipartisanship After divisive rally, Trump calls for unity MORE (R-Va.) to call for his resignation. But McAllister eventually vowed to run for reelection with the support of his wife.

The episode encouraged a slew of Republicans to join the race to unseat McAllister. New polling shows that McAllister holds a slight lead in the crowded field of Republican challengers, but no candidate is even close to a majority. 

With Election Day drawing closer, these final fundraising periods are vital for the struggling lawmaker.  In Louisiana’s “jungle primary” system, if no candidate passes the 50 percent threshold on Election Day, the top two move on to a runoff.