"Kissing congressman" Vance McAllister mulling reelection after all

Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La. was caught on camera passionately kissing a staffer outside his Louisiana office. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

The fallout from having been caught on surveillance footage kissing his married staffer might not have been quite as enduring as Rep. Vance McAllister anticipated.

Though the Louisiana Republican announced in the scandal's wake that he would not seek reelection to his House seat, he seems to be mulling an about-face amid poll numbers that show him leading a potential field in November. Survey results pit McAllister in a reprise runoff battle with state Sen. Neil Riser, who recently revoked his name from consideration.

Dec. 23 security video taken at his Monroe district office showed McAllister in a lengthy liplock with his then-scheduler, rendering a starkly different likeness of a man who ahead of his election last fall ran multiple campaign ads trumpeting his family and faith.

Political heavyweights including Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., subsequently urged McAllister to step down. Having initially heeded those calls, the congressman now says he's open to going ahead with his bid should his constituents indicate they want him to.

"It's awful flattering to know that we live in a society, a district, where people can forgive, and know that as long as you do the job - and do it right - that's what counts," McAllister told Monroe, La., CBS affiliate KNOE. He said he'll make his decision by the time the August candidate sign-up period rolls around.

Still, the polls inspiring McAllister's reassessment were conducted before controversial "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's nephew added his name to the mounting list of candidates vying for the Louisiana seat. Zach Dasher, a 36-year-old conservative who's never run for office, announced Monday that he'd campaign with the ultimate ambition of injecting "God" into the "elite political class" currently occupying Capitol Hill.

It's a curious case of worlds colliding: McAllister's victory in the special election last fall was realized in no small part to support from the "Duck Dynasty" clan. Earlier this year, he drummed up considerable chatter when he brought Willie Robertson to the State of the Union despite backlash over Phil Robertson's disparaging remarks about same-sex marriage.

McAllister reportedly told a Louisiana outlet there are no hard feelings if the Robertsons opt to rally around Dasher in November: "They wouldn't be the people I know them to be if they didn't support someone from their family," he said.

  • Lindsey Boerma On Twitter»

    Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for CBSNews.com.

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