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Posts in "La.-5"
December 6, 2014
Updated 3:23 a.m. | Republicans capped their Senate sweep Saturday night, when Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., defeated Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in a Senate runoff.
Cassidy, a doctor who still practices, was leading Landrieu, 65 percent to 35 percent when the Associated Press called the race 30 minutes after polls closed. Republicans also retained two House seats in additional runoff races. Full story
October 31, 2014
Vulnerable Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and embattled GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, also known as the “Kissing Congressman,” have something in common on Election Day.
Though on opposite sites of the aisle, the two Pelican State incumbents are fighting for their political lives Tuesday. They also have a common goal in attracting moderate voters — and the same adversary in the Louisiana Republican Party.
“Certainly they both need the support of moderates to win,” said Louisiana GOP executive director Jason Doré in a phone interview Wednesday. Full story
October 29, 2014
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has endorsed fellow Republican Zach Dasher, who is challenging embattled Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.
In a 55-second video posted Wednesday on YouTube, Cruz voices his support for Dasher, urging Louisianans to vote for the Republican next week. Dasher, a businessman, is related to the Robertson family, who star in A&E’s popular reality show, “Duck Dynasty.”
“Zach Dasher is a conservative with a backbone to stand up to career politicians in both parties to help lead the fight to repeal Obamacare, to stop amnesty, defend our conservative values and turn our country around,” Cruz says.
A number of Republicans jumped into the 5th District race after McAllister, who is married, was caught on camera kissing a married staffer earlier this year and announced he would not seek re-election. Two months later, McAllister, who had won a special election in November, decided to run for a full term despite the scandal. Full story
October 27, 2014
Wielding a bible and an AR-15 rifle, the patriarch of the “Duck Dynasty” clan has once again waded into political waters.
Phil Robertson, the head of the family at the center of A&E’s reality show, “Duck Dynasty,” which is filmed in Louisiana’s 5th District, appeared in two new television ads released Monday to support his nephew Zach Dasher, a businessman hoping to oust embattled incumbent Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.
In one ad dubbed “Believe,” Robertson tells voters, while holding a bible in one hand and a rifle in the other, “Bibles and guns brought us here and bibles and guns will keep us here. Zach Dasher believes in both.” Full story
October 7, 2014
A poll released Monday showed no clear front-runner in the race for embattled Rep. Vance McAllister’s seat in Louisiana.
The Republican was among the top three candidates in the automated poll, conducted by a GOP firm, which surveyed 504 likely voters in the 5th District.
Earlier this year, McAllister was caught on camera kissing a married staffer — several months after he won a special election for the seat. But given the crowded field, it is very unlikely any of the six candidates will garner 50 percent of the vote on Election Day, which means the race will continue to a runoff between the top two vote-recipients in December. Full story
September 29, 2014
The political action arm of the conservative Club for Growth is launching a TV ad Tuesday attacking embattled incumbent Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.
The 30-second spot, which is backed by a “six-figure buy,” starts out with media coverage of the married congressman being caught on camera kissing a staffer, but quickly pivots to his voting record. The “Kissing Congressman” has been attempting to move past the scandal, including debuting an ad that features McAllister with his wife. Full story
August 11, 2014
TALLULAH, La. — Vance McAllister’s political career flatlined earlier this year, a victim of self-inflicted wounds from an embarrassing infidelity scandal.
But less than three months before the midterm elections, the Louisiana Republican has suddenly, improbably, become the man to beat this November.
McAllister, who was holding a series of businesslike, low-drama town hall meetings in small communities in the east end of his mostly rural district last week, told CQ Roll Call that both he and his constituents have moved on from the ”Kissing Congressman” scandal that erupted in April, after a video surfaced showing him embracing a married staffer.
“It’s really only the Washington media that’s keeping that going,” he said in an interview outside the community meeting room in the small farm town of Winnsboro, population 4,910.
And, at least among the business leaders, city council members, farmers and veterans who attended the question-and-answer sessions in Winnsboro and nearby Tallulah, McAllister seemed to have a point.
The congressman was asked about the border crisis, the Keystone XL pipeline, national security issues and the problems with Department of Veterans Affairs — but not a single question arose about the video.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal thinks Rep. Vance McAllister should step down, calling the Louisiana Republican’s continued tenure an “embarrassment” thanks to a scandal that left him with the nickname the “Kissing Congressman.”
“Look, he originally made the right decision when he decided not to run for reelection,” Jindal told CQ Roll Call during a visit to the Iowa State Fair on Saturday. “I said he should have stepped down at the time. I think he’s making a mistake, I think he should, I think he should’ve stuck to his original decision and not go back inside to try to run again. I think it’d be better for him, he said he wanted some time for privacy and to spend that time with his family, I think that’d be a good thing for him to do.”
“I think it’s been an embarrassment to him, the district, and the state,” Jindal added.
June 30, 2014
Rep. Vance McAllister, the Louisiana Republican known as the “Kissing Congressman” after he was caught kissing a married aide, will seek re-election in November.
“We spent the weekend trying to make sure this was exactly right for us and the family,” McAllister said on the Moon Griffon radio show in Louisiana Monday morning. “It’s taken a lot of hard praying,”
McAllister, who won the seat in a special election in November, will formally make the announcement at a news conference Monday morning.
McAllister had recently waffled on whether he would seek a full term in Louisiana’s 5th District. He announced in April — weeks after security camera footage leaked of him kissing his aide— that he would not run again for the seat. Just a few weeks later, McAllister recanted that decision, saying he was keeping all of his options open for another bid.
June 16, 2014
Updated 1:04 p.m. | Businessman Zach Dasher, a cousin of the star of “Duck Dynasty,” announced Monday he will run for Louisiana’s 5th District.
The seat is currently held by embattled GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, who won the district in a special election last November — largely thanks to the local reality television superstar Willie Robertson’s support.
But Dasher said he has the full support of the Robertson family in a Monday morning interview with Louisiana radio show host Moon Griffon.
The news comes as a blow for McAllister, who has waffled in recent weeks about whether he’s running for re-election. Earlier this year, McAllister was caught on video kissing a staffer in his district office — an incident that gave him the title “kissing congressman.”
April 28, 2014
Earlier this month, surveillance footage leaked of McAllister kissing one of his congressional staffers. The incident led to multiple calls for his resignation, including from Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal.
“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, which also reported that McAllister will complete the rest of his term.
April 13, 2014
Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Sunday “not all” of his Republican colleagues are racist.
In a joint appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union“ with National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon, the New York Democrat was asked by host Candy Crowley whether he agreed with recent comments by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that race played a factor in an immigration overhaul not being brought up for a vote in the House and whether he thought his GOP colleagues are racist.
“Not all of them, no, of course not,” Israel said. “But to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism. And that’s unfortunate.”
Asked if comments about race by Pelosi and Attorney General Eric Holder, as well as the “war on women” rhetoric from Democrats last week, were about getting the base out to vote in November, Israel said, “We don’t need to get our base out, because frankly, we’re ready to pass an immigration bill. We’d rather pass an immigration bill than worry about the election.”
April 7, 2014
Freshman Rep. Vance McAllister’s days in Congress could be numbered.
No matter whether the Louisiana Republican resigns after asking for forgiveness for an extramarital affair, Republican operatives said at least four members of his own party could look to challenge McAllister this fall.
In Louisiana, candidates have until Aug. 22 to file the necessary paperwork for a bid, and all candidates who qualify for the ballot run on Election Day in November. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the race kicks to a runoff in December between the two top vote recipients.
“There’s no doubt I’ve fallen short and I’m asking for forgiveness,” McAllister said in a statement. “I’m asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether your a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I’ve disappointed.”
November 16, 2013
GOP businessman Vance McAllister won a special election in Louisiana’s 5th District Saturday night, stunning the heir apparent in the contest to become the next member of Congress.
McAllister, a self-funding newcomer, defeated Republican state Sen. Neil Riser 58 percent to 42 percent, with 78 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.
Riser had long been considered a shoo-in to win the special election to replace Rep. Rodney Alexander, who resigned over the summer to take a post in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration. Full story
November 13, 2013
Willie Robertson, a reality television show celebrity on the popular “Duck Dynasty” series, will star in a new kind of program starting Thursday: a campaign television spot for Louisiana’s 5th District special election.
In the advertisement, Robertson proclaims his support for GOP businessman Vance McAllister, the underdog in Saturday’s contest.
“Hey this is Willie Robertson, reminding you to get out Saturday, Nov. 16 and vote for my good buddy Vance McAllister. Let’s send somebody from the 5th District who speaks for us to help turn Washington around,” Robertson says in the ad, produced by RedPrint Strategy.