A top Republican urged the Louisiana congressman caught kissing a married staffer to resign on Tuesday, but the defiant lawmaker still says he's not going anywhere yet.
Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., says that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor asked him to "consider resigning" during a meeting Tuesday. An aide for Cantor confirms the Majority Leader urged McAllister to resign.
"He asked me why I would want to put myself through this for the next eight months if I'm not running for reelection," McAllister said in a statement. "He did ask me to consider resigning, but I respectfully disagree with him and my family is behind my decision."
"I do not feel it's in my constituents' best interest to leave them without representation for the second time in less than a year," he added. "My district deserves a voice and a fair election process, not an expensive potential special election that benefits the establishment."
McAllister returned to DC yesterday and voted for the first time since a local paper released what they said was video of the Congressman kissing an aide in one of his Louisiana district offices. McAllister apologized for his actions and released a statement saying that, while he won't resign, he will not run for re-election in November.
Democrats have pointed out that high-profile Republicans have not yet called for the ouster of Rep. Michael Grimm of New York, who is facing a criminal indictment but maintains his innocence.
"Republican leaders made one thing clear today; it is worse to kiss the wrong person in a safe Republican seat than to face a 20-count criminal indictment in a swing district," said Josh Schwerin of the DCCC.
Those familiar with Cantor’s thinking say that the fact that McAllister was romantically involved with a subordinate congressional staffer was an influencing factor in the Virginia Republican’s decision to request McAllister’s resignation.
First published April 29 2014, 1:36 PM
Frank Thorp V
Frank Thorp V is a producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC News. He started this role in June 2011. Thorp is responsible for managing coverage of the Senate, and supports Capitol Hill correspondents Kelly O'Donnell and Luke Russert in their reporting on Congress.
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Previously, Thorp served as NBC News' long-term presence in Haiti after a devastating earthquake hit that country in 2010. Thorp has also worked at CBS News.
He studied psychology at West Virginia University, and lives in Alexandria, Va. with his wife and chocolate lab.