McAllister tells House leaders he will not resign from Congress

Associated Press file photo by J. Scott Applewhite -- Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La declared he intends to serve out the remainder of term, but not seek re-election. Show caption
Associated Press file photo by J. Scott Applewhite -- Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La declared he intends to serve out the remainder of term, but not seek re-election.

U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister refused to resign his office Tuesday when pressed by Republican leaders in the U.S. House.

McAllister, who announced Monday he would not run for reelection, said he met with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., Tuesday 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,” McAllister said in a prepared statement. “He did ask me to consider resigning, but I respectfully disagree with him and my family is behind my decision.

McAllister, R-Swartz, took office Nov. 16, 2013 after winning a special election to replace Rodney Alexander, who quit halfway through his two-year term representing the 5th Congressional District of northeast and central Louisiana as well as the rural portions of the Florida parishes adjacent to the Mississippi state line. McAllister was caught on security cameras in his Monroe office kissing an aide, who also was the wife of an old friend.

Louisiana Republican leaders, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, have pushed McAllister to resign since the security recording was made public earlier this month.

On Monday McAllister said he would not run for reelection Nov. 4, but would serve until the end of his term on Jan. 3, 2015. On Tuesday, he underscored that decision with Cantor.

“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,” said McAllister. “My district deserves a voice and a fair election process, not an expensive potential special election that benefits the establishment.”

Cantor told Politico Tuesday: “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 did not call on U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, R-New York, to resign. Grimm was indicted Monday by a federal grand jury on 20 criminal counts related to a business he owned prior to being elected to Congress in 2010. Grimm has denied any wrongdoing.