After first saying that he will not run for reelection, the "kissing Congressman," Vance McAllister (R,La), has decided to run for reelection after all. McAllister, who ran on a religious right platform last fall, was caught kissing a married staffer in a brief but revealing video, according to ABC News on Monday.
McAllister said that it was his wife who convinced him to run for reelection, telling him that he should let the voters decide if it is time for him to leave Congress. McAllister's original campaign had some celebrity endorsements from "Dick Dynasty" stars Phil Robertson and Willie Robertson. However, the tables have turned on McAlister since the kissing video went viral and Phil Robertson's nephew, Zach Dasher, has announced his candidacy for Congress in Louisiana's Fifth Congressional District which McAllister now represents.
Dasher was quick to point out that there is no "awkwardness" in his family over his candidacy and that his family is behind him "110 percent" in his quest to be elected to Congress. Vance defrayed the conversation away from McAllister by evoking the words of Eleanor Roosevelt regarding talking about other people:
“I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who said that great minds discuss great ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people. So obviously we want to be great minds, and we’re not going to make this about people, we’re going to make this about ideas."
GOP leaders in both Congress and in the State of Louisiana, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R,Va) and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R), had asked McAllister to resign in the wake of his kissing scandal. When explaining his feelings in a statement about McAllister's decision to run for reelection after all, Jindal was highly critical of McAllister's choice:
“Congressman McAllister made the right decision earlier when he said he would not run again. It is disappointing he changed his mind."
Louisiana has an open primary system in Congressional elections, meaning that all the candidates, despite their party affiliation, will run against one another in the open primary on November 4. The two candidates with the top votes will face off against one another in the December 6 general election. Whether or not McAllister is going to be one of those two candidates is anyone's guess at this point. However. McAllister definitely has some celebrity opposition this time that definitely will prove to be challenging for him in the months ahead.