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Pressure builds on U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister to resign

Governor Bobby Jindal and Louisiana’s GOP chairman call on McAllister to leave Congress after being caught on tape kissing a staffer

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

louisiana mugMONROE, Louisiana (CFP) — Two top leaders in  U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister’s own Republican Party are calling for him resign over a video showing showing the married father of five kissing a female staffer outside of his congressional office in Monroe.

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Roger Villere, chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, both say McAllister should step aside.

“Congressman McAllister’s behavior is an embarrassment,” Jindal said in a statement. “He says he wants privacy to work on his issues with his family. The best way to get privacy and work on putting his family back together is to resign from Congress.”

Villere was even more scathing, saying McAllister’s “extreme hypocrisy is an example of why ordinary people are fed up with politics.”

“A breach of trust of this magnitude can only be rectified by an immediate resignation. He has embarrassed our party, our state and the institution of Congress,” Villere said.

The video was first published by The Ouachita Citizen, a newspaper in West Monroe, which said it had obtained it from an anonymous source. The video came from a surveillance camera in the building housing McAllister’s district office.

After the newspaper posted the video, McAllister issued a public apology.

“There’s no doubt I’ve fallen short,” McAllister said. “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff and my constituents.”

“I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I’ve disappointed,” he added, asking that his children be given privacy “as we get through this.”

In a subsequent interview with the Monroe News-Star, McAllister said he had no plans to resign and would seek re-election this fall.

The newspaper identified the female in the video as Melissa Peacock, a scheduler on McAllister’s district staff. Her husband, Heath Peacock, a campaign contributor and former co-worker of the congressman, told CNN that he is “devastated” by the video and plans to divorce his wife.

“I feel like I’m going to wake up here in a minute, and this is all going to be a bad nightmare,” Peacock said.

It is unknown who leaked the video. McAllister considered but eventually dropped the idea of requesting an FBI investigation into who provided the video to the newspaper.

McAllister, 40, a businessman from Swartz, was a political unknown when he elected to represent Louisiana’s 5th District in a special election in November, during which he portrayed himself as a Christian family man.

His campaign was boosted by celebrity endorsements by members of the Robertson family from the Duck Dynasty television show. He later invited Willie Robertson to President Obama’s State of the Union address.

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