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Topics: House of Representatives

'Kissing congressman' Vance McAllister of Louisiana won't seek re-election

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Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister, embroiled in an embarrassing scandal after he was videotaped kissing a female staffer, said Monday he won't seek re-election, a newspaper in his district reported Monday.

The conservative Republican will serve out his term, which expires in early January, the Monroe, La., News Star reported.

McAllister and his wife made the final decision Monday morning, the paper said. The Congressman was unavailable for comment as he was flying to Washington as Congress returns after a two-week break.

"I am committed to serving the 5th District to the best of my ability through this term, but I also have to take care of my family as we work together to repair and strengthen the relationship I damaged," the paper reported McAllister as saying.

McAllister, 40, initially said he would stay in office after a video surfaced showing him kissing a married female staffer, who has since resigned.

But he was under pressure from Louisiana Republicans to step down. Gov. Bobby Jindal called his behavior an embarrassment. And state party Chairman Roger Villere accused him of "extreme hypocrisy."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, while not outright calling for McAllister's resignation, said earlier this month the lawmaker has "got decisions that he has to make."

"I expect all members [of Congress] to be held to the highest ethical standards, and this is no different," Boehner said.

McAllister, a political newcomer serving his first term, showcased his family and Christian faith during his 2013 special election campaign for Congress. In one commercial his wife, Kelly, and their five children vowed he would "defend our Christian way of life" if elected.

Kelly McAllister said the couple's marriage remains intact and that she "100 percent" supports her husband, the News Star said.

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