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Wife of “Kissing Congressman” cuts testimonial campaign ad

Kelly McAllister says her husband, U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, “owns up to his mistakes”

louisiana mugMONROE, Louisiana (CFP) — The wife of embattled U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister is appearing in a new television as the Louisiana Republican battles to keep his seat after an embarrassing video surfaced last April showing him kissing a female staffer.

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister

“A man’s character is based on how many times he gets back up and stands again,” Kelly McAllister says in the ad. “I’m blessed to have a husband who owns up to his mistakes, never gives up, always fighting for the good people of Louisiana.”

McAllister himself opens the video, saying that “life is filled with ups and downs.”

McAllister, 40, a Christian conservative and father of five, was elected to the 5th District seat in a special election last November in his first bid for political office. After the video surfaced, he announced he would not seek re-election, but he later changed his mind and filed to run again.

To go back to Washington, he will have to defeat five Republicans and a Democrat who have filed to run against him, including Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, the Democrat, and former Republican U.S. Rep. Clyde Holloway, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

The crowded field could help McAllister because of Louisiana’s unique jungle primary system. All seven candidates run in the same race in November, with the top two vote-getters facing each other in a runoff in December if nobody wins a majority.

Both Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Roger Villere, chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, called on McAllister to resign after the video surfaced, but he refused.

Click here to watch the commercial.

Louisiana U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister won’t run again in November

McAllister’s exit comes after video surfaced showing him kissing a female staffer outside his district office

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

louisiana mugMONROE, Louisiana (CFP) — Three weeks after video surfaced showing him passionately kissing a female staffer, embattled Republican U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister has announced that he won’t seek re-election this fall.

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister

However, despite calls from leading Louisiana Republicans and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for his resignation, McAllister is vowing to serve out the remainder of his term.

“The people of the Fifth District of Louisiana need and deserve a voice in Washington,” McAllister said in a statement released April 28. “Today, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election, but I will continue to be that voice and will uphold the office to which I was elected to serve for the remainder of my term.”

“As I’ve said before, there’s no doubt I’ve made a mistake. I’ve failed those I care most about and let down the people who elected me to represent them. I take full responsibility for this personal failure, and I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done.”

The decision to hang on to his office ran into immediate opposition from Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, who met with McAllister and told him he needed to resign, Politico reported.

McAllister, 40, a Christian conservative and married father of five, was elected to the vacant 5th District seat last November in his first bid for political office.

Both Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Roger Villere, chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, have called on McAllister to resign.

Edwin Edwards running for U.S. House seat in Louisiana

The former governor, who served eight years in prison for corruption, is attempting a comeback at age 86

♦By Rich Shumate,

louisiana mugBATON ROUGE, Louisiana (CFP) — Edwin Edwards, the colorful and controversial former Louisiana governor, will attempt a political comeback by seeking the state’s 6th District U.S. House seat.

Edwards, 86, a Democrat who served eight years in federal prison on corruption charges, announced his run March 17 during an appearance at the Baton Rouge Press Club.

House hopeful Edwin Edwards

House hopeful Edwin Edwards

“I’m positive I can run, and I’m confident I can win,” said Edwards, who was accompanied by his wife, Trina — 51 years his junior — and their 1-year-old son.

Edwards said he did not think his run would be an embarrassment to Louisiana.

“It might be something the state should be proud of because forgiveness, understanding and second chances are important in life and in politics,” he said.

Edwards is seeking the House seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. The district takes in parts of nine parishes in and around Baton Rouge.

Edwards told reporters that he had considered challenging Landrieu before deciding on the House race. As a convicted felon, Louisiana law bars him for running for a statewide office.

The district is heavily Republican, giving Mitt Romney 67 percent of the vote in 2012. However, with 10 Republicans in the race, Edwards has a good shot at making it through the state’s jungle primary, where candidates from all parties run in the same race and the two top vote getters advance to a runoff.

Edwards served a record four terms as Louisiana’s governor between 1972 and 1996. In 1991, after being acquitted of federal corruption charges, he won a runoff against white supremacist David Duke. During that campaign, a popular bumper sticker urged Louisianians to “Vote For the Crook. It’s Important.”

In 2001, Edwards was convicted on 17 counts of bribery, extortion, fraud and racketeering stemming from his last term as governor. Among the charges was that he took $400,000 from former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo for help him secure a casino license.

Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Edwards was released in 2011 after serving eight years. Less than a month later, he married Trina Edwards, who had been a prison pen pal. The couple starred in a reality television show, The Governor’s Wife, which aired on the A&E cable network in 2013.

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