Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 27, 2014

Posts in "La.-5"

August 11, 2014

McAllister Moving Past ‘Kissing Congressman’

McAllister Moving Past Kissing Congressman

McAllister gets welcomed back home. (Margaret Frances Eldridge/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Full story

Jindal Calls McAllister an ‘Embarrassment’

Jindal Calls McAllister an Embarrassment

Jindal, right, met with Iowa politicians like Grassley. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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“Look, he originally made the right decision when he decided not to run for reelection,” Jindal told CQ Roll Call during a visit to the Iowa State Fair on Saturday.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.

Full story

June 30, 2014

Vance McAllister Announces He Will Seek Re-Election

Vance McAllister Announces He Will Seek Re Election

Following some "hard praying," McAllister has decided to seek re-election after all. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Full story

June 16, 2014

Duck Dynasty Cousin Enters Louisiana House Race (Updated)

Duck Dynasty Cousin Enters Louisiana House Race (Updated)

Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson, right, attended State of the Union as McAllister's guest this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Full story

April 28, 2014

‘Kissing’ Congressman Vance McAllister Will Not Seek Re-Election (Updated)

Kissing Congressman Vance McAllister Will Not Seek Re Election (Updated)

McAllister was sworn into Congress in November 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:27 p.m. | Newly-elected Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., will not seek re-election in November, according to a local report.

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.

Full story

April 13, 2014

Israel: Elements of Republican Base ‘Animated By Racism’

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.”

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 3:10 p.m.
DCCC, House 2014, La.-5, NRCC

April 7, 2014

Vance McAllister Kissing Video Could Prompt Flood of GOP Challengers

Vance McAllister Kissing Video Could Prompt Flood of GOP Challengers

McAllister invited Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty to be his State of the Union guest. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.”

Full story

November 16, 2013

Newcomer McAllister Wins Special Election in Louisiana

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

‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Cuts Ad for Louisiana House Hopeful

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.

Full story

October 19, 2013

Riser, McAllister Advance to Runoff in Louisiana House Special Election

GOP state Sen. Neil Riser and Republican businessman Vance McAllister advanced to a runoff Saturday night in a special election in Louisiana’s 5th District, rising above a crowded field of 14 candidates from all over the political spectrum.

Riser received 33 percent, with 88 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. McAllister captured the second spot in the runoff, garnering 18 percent.

This is the contest to replace former Rep. Rodney Alexander, who resigned in September to take a job in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s cabinet.

Full story

October 18, 2013

Special Teams: The Louisiana House Special

In less than 24 hours, voters will go to the polls to choose a successor to former Rep. Rodney Alexander of Louisiana’s 5th District.

Both state and national operatives are involved in the crowded field. The race is highly unpredictable and the possibility of a Democrat making the runoff is not altogether impossible. But because this seat is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, CQ Roll Call profiled the teams behind the GOP campaigns.

Polls close at 8 p.m. Central Daylight Time on Saturday. The anticipated runoff will be Nov. 16.

Here is who is involved in the race, in alphabetical order by candidate: Full story

October 15, 2013

Special Election Whirlwind Week Starts Today

A week of rapid-fire congressional special elections kicks off Tuesday with a primary in Massachusetts’ 5th District, followed by two more contests in the following days to fill vacant seats on Capitol Hill.

Both the Massachusetts contest and a special election primary in Louisiana’s 5th District on Saturday are taking place in safe Democratic and Republican seats respectively, leaving little chance for either party to flip a new seat into their column. Yet with crowded primary fields in both races, it’s not clear which candidates will emerge with the nominations.

There’s a third special election on Wednesday in New Jersey to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg. Newark Mayor Cory Booker is favored to keep that seat in Democratic hands.

Full story

October 8, 2013

Louisiana Republicans Report Special Election Fundraising

Two Republicans running in a crowded special election for Louisiana’s 5th District seat have each raised more than $560,000, according to reports filed recently with the Federal Elections Commission.

State Rep. Jay Morris raised $566,000 — which includes a $295,000 loan to his campaign — and reported $188,000 in cash on hand at the end of the pre-primary period. State Sen. Neil Riser raised $561,000 and reported $210,000 in cash on hand.

Riser and Morris are running to replace GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander, who resigned from Congress to take a post in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration last month. They are two of 14 candidates running in the wide-open Oct. 19 special primary.

Other candidates who reported pre-primary fundraising hauls include:

Full story

August 23, 2013

Fall Filled With Special Elections for House, Senate

Fall Filled With Special Elections for House, Senate

Alexander's resignation means yet another special election this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Are these elections really that “special” anymore?

Between now and Christmas, four different states will hold special elections for federal office: a Senate race in New Jersey, plus House elections in Alabama, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

Not special enough for you? Three special elections are scheduled over a four-day stretch in mid-October.

Here’s a look at the upcoming “special” election calendar:

New Jersey Senate

Reason for vacancy: The passing of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Safe Democrat
The field: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the Democratic nominee, and conservative activist Steve Lonegan, the GOP nominee.
Primary election: Booker and Lonegan won their party nominations on Aug. 13.
General election: Oct. 16

Full story

August 22, 2013

Eric Cantor Backs Candidate in Louisiana House Special | #LA05

Eric Cantor Backs Candidate in Louisiana House Special | #LA05

Cantor has endorsed a candidate in the special election to replace former Rep. Rodney Alexander. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican state Sen. Neil Riser received the backing of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor this week in the special election to replace former Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., according to a local news source.

Riser, who will seek the 5th District seat in the Oct. 19 special election, has also received endorsements from three Louisiana Republicans — John Fleming, Steve Scalise and Charles Boustany Jr.

Republican operatives consider Riser to be the front-runner in the crowded, 14-candidate field to replace Alexander, who resigned in August to take a position in Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration.

Full story

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