In his first public appearance in weeks, Vance McAllister told KTVE a recent scandal has nothing to do with that decision.
“You've heard me say what the job is like, you've heard me say that Washington is a dysfunctional mess, and I just don't believe that being in Washington 3-4 days a week and being away from my family, my wife and my kids, that I'm going to be able to make the difference and change the mess that it is," said McAllister.
We caught up with the Congressman and his wife at the
Although he's not running again, he's also not resigning the post.
"I'm going to do the job they elected me to do, and I'm going to do the best I can do and make them proud that they did not make a wrong decision come last November," adds McAllister.
Meanwhile political experts are skeptical.
"Of course he stepped down because of the video,” said Political Science Professor John Sutherlin. “There was no grumbling whatsoever about Vance McAllister, there was wide spread support for Vance McAllister before the video came out."
Sutherlin believes McAllister may have been in over his head to begin with.
“He had never been to D.C. before he was elected, he didn't know the politics, he didn't know his way around."
Sutherlin says expect the field to widen for McAllister’s spot. He thinks familiar names like Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, and State Representative Katrina Jackson could be early favorites.
In the meantime, Vance McAllister says he's getting back to work.
"To serve the 5th district. To get back to being the best congressman I can be for them."
Mayor Jamie Mayo issued the following statement on whether or not he’s running:
“Many of my supporters throughout the 5th district have called asking me to consider it. I am considering it but have not made a final decision.”
We’ve also received reaction from both the
UPDATE: Below is a statement from Rep. McAllister regarding today’s announcement:
The past few weeks have been a trying time for my family. 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. I have taken this time to reconcile with my wife and kids and I'm forever grateful for their support and forgiveness. The people of the Fifth District of Louisiana need and deserve a voice in
West Monroe -- Congressman Vance McAllister will not seek re-election.
Adam Terry, McAllister's Chief of Staff, says McAllister will finish out his term, but will not seek re-election in the fall.
Controversy has surrounded the first term Congressman since a video was released showing McAllister kissing a former staffer in his Monroe office.
During an interview with our KTVE/KARD crew at Monroe Regional Airport, Congressman McAllister says he's not resigning due to the video, but he feels he can't serve the 5th District by being in Washington D.C. three days a week. McAllister was en route back to Washington D.C. along with his wife Kelly.
This was the first time McAllister has spoken publicly since the video came out. He did release a statement asking for forgiveness.
Top Republicans in the state did call on McAllister to resign, including Governor Bobby Jindal and State GOP Chairman Roger Villere.
KTVE/KARD has reached out to the Louisiana Democratic Party of Louisiana for comment on McAllister's decision.