Rep. McAllister refunds campaign donations to staffer he kissed

Greg Nash

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) refunded more than $10,000 in donations to the former staffer he was caught kissing earlier this year and her husband.

McAllister returned two donations totaling $5,200 to Melissa Peacock and another two totaling the same amount to her husband, Heath Peacock, according to the congressman's second-quarter Federal Election Commission report.

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In April, the married congressman apologized after video surfaced of him kissing Peacock, a staffer at the time, in his district office late last year. She resigned after the video went public. 

Heath Peacock described the incident as a bad dream, saying McAllister "wrecked my life."

Ten days after the video broke, McAllister refunded the money, according to the FEC report, first reported by the Times-Picayune.

Other than loans, McAllister raised only $38,500 in the second quarter — nearly a fourth of which he refunded — and has only $4,778 cash on hand. The campaign is $607,901 in debt. 

Shortly after the scandal broke, McAllister resisted calls from Louisiana Republicans to resign but said he would not run for reelection. However, he reversed course last month, saying it should be up to the voters to decide his political future. 

During his announcement, he said he would begin raising money again as well as contribute funds to his campaign. He largely self-funded his campaign last year when he won the seat in a special election.