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McAllister Rebuffs Cantor, Refuses to Resign

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Vance McAllister quelled some of his kissing scandal by agreeing not to seek re-election in the fall .  

Apparently that wasn’t enough for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who reportedly asked the recently-installed Louisiana Republican to resign immediately.  

“When we took the majority, I had said that I believe we ought to hold ourselves to a higher standard. And I think what has happened in his instance doesn’t meet that standard. So I told him that I thought he should resign,” Cantor told Politico, which broke the story. Shortly after news surfaced that the conversation between the two lawmakers had taken place, McAllister sent out a statement explaining that he would serve out the duration of his term, despite the wishes of the House’s No. 2 Republican.

“I did meet with Leader Cantor this morning. He asked me why I would want to put myself through this for the next eight months if I’m not running for reelection. 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. My district deserves a voice and a fair election process, not an expensive potential special election that benefits the establishment.”

McAllister won a special election to succeed Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., last November. Earlier this month, surveillance footage leaked of McAllister kissing one of his district aides, which raised eyebrows given that the social conservative is married with children.  

GOP leaders
have not taken a firm position yet on another one of their scandal-plagued colleagues, Rep. Michael G. Grimm of New York, who on Monday was indicted on 20 charges of illegal activity . Grimm has pledged to remain in office while he fights the allegations — and seek re-election in the fall. He agreed to vacate his committee assignment on Financial Services as a goodwill gesture, which seems to have appeased his peers, at least for now.  

Some Democrats, however, are crying foul, pointing to the glaring disparity in treatment between the two lawmakers.  

“Republican leaders made one thing clear today,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee press secretary Josh Schwerin said in a statement. “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.”

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