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"Kissing congressman" Vance McAllister: Blessed I have a Christian wife

Rep. Vance McAllister, R- Louisiana, who was caught in surveillance footage earlier this year locking lips with a married staffer, feels "lucky to have been blessed with a great family and wonderful Christian wife," he says in a new TV ad.

The "wonderful Christian wife," for her part, says she, too, considers herself "blessed" to have "a husband who owns up to his mistakes."

In a last-ditch attempt to restore the faith-and-family-man image that landed him his seat in Congress, and McAllister and his wife Kelly teamed up for the ad hawking his resilience without mentioning specifics of the scandal that nearly derailed his reelection bid.

"Life is filled with ups and downs," McAllister says at the start of the ad. His wife picks up: "But a man's character is based on how many times he gets back up and stands again."

Amid calls for him to step down from his party's political heavyweights, McAllister initially said he would not seek reelection. But after a period of what he described as "much thought and prayer" - not to mention poll numbers that showed him leading a potential field in November - he announced an about-face over the summer.

At the time, McAllister told the local News-Star newspaper he doesn't expect to broach the controversy during his campaign to retain the job that he once said "sucks": "I've publicly apologized to the people in the 5th District and more importantly worked through it with my family," he said. "I've said all I'm going to say about it. Now it's up to the voters."

Further whetting interest in the race, contentious "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson's nephew tossed his hat into the ring while McAllister deliberated his campaign. Zach Dasher, a 36-year-old conservative who's never run for office, announced that he'd rally his bid around 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. And 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.

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