A married freshman Republican congressman who campaigned on his Christian, conservative values apologized Monday after surveillance video surfaced purportedly showing him in a lengthy liplock with a staffer.
In the Dec. 23 footage, obtained by a local newspaper, Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La. - who ahead of his election last fall ran multiple campaign ads trumpeting his faith and family - is seen kissing and embracing a woman for about 20 seconds at his Monroe, La., district office. The Ouachita Citizen reports the woman is the congressman's 33-year-old part-time scheduler, who is also married.
"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness. I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve," McAllister said in a statement. "Trust is something I know has to be earned whether you're a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed."
He went on: "From day one, I've always tried to be an honest man. I ran for Congress to make a difference and not to just be another politician. I don't want to make a political statement on this, I would just simply like to say that I'm very sorry for what I've done.
"While I realize I serve the public, I would appreciate the privacy given to my children as we get through this," McAllister added. He and his wife Kelly have five children.
During his four months in office, McAllister has proven something of a penchant for controversy. In January, he told his district Chamber of Commerce that his new job on Capitol Hill "sucks;" about a week later, he drummed up considerable chatter when he brought as his State of the Union guest "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson despite backlash surrounding an elder Robertson's disparaging remarks about same-sex marriage.