Some federal lawmakers have brief careers, but the rise and fall of Louisiana’s Vance McAllister is a sight to behold.
In mid-November, McAllister, a first-time candidate, easily crushed the Republican establishment’s hand-picked candidate. Just five months later, he’s done.
The married congressman reportedly caught kissing a married co-worker will not seek re-election this fall.Louisiana newspaper The News-Star reported Monday that Rep. Vance McAllister will not run for Congress again this fall, but will still complete his term. McAllister has been under heavy scrutiny since video surfaced earlier this month that allegedly showed him kissing an aide.“I am committed to serving the 5th District to the best of my ability through this term, but I also have to take care of my family as we work together to repair and strengthen the relationship I damaged,” McAllister told The News-Star.
The congressman probably didn’t see a lot of options. McAllister likely could have held on if he enjoyed any support from the party establishment, but GOP leaders turned on him quickly after his extra-marital dalliance came to light. Indeed, within three days of the controversy breaking, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and can Party Chairman Roger Villere had both called for his resignation.
And somewhere, it seems awfully likely that Sen. David Vitter (R) is watching all of this unfolding, feeling quite relieved about his own career trajectory.
To revisit the lingering question from a few weeks ago, Vitter, after getting caught, acknowledged a “serious sin” with hookers in 2007, including an instance in which he arranged for a liaison while calling from the floor of Congress. The conservative Republican, who ran on a traditional-values platform, avoided prosecution because the statute of limitations had expired.
Vitter nevertheless maintained intra-party support, won re-election, is currently the frontrunner in Louisiana’s 2015 gubernatorial race.
McAllister, however, was caught kissing a staffer and his career in politics, at least for now, is effectively over.
I offered a theory on the competing standards earlier this month, but let’s also not overlook this David Hawkings piece noting that members of Congress caught in relationships with staffers never survive.