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Republican Rep. Vance McAllister of Louisiana, who has become known as the ‘kissing congressman,’ said he will not leave office before his term is finished, despite House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s plea that he do so.
Earlier this month, a surveillance tape showing the married McAllister kissing a former female staffer who was not his wife surfaced. He later apologized and already said that he would not seek re-election in November. McAllister only won the seat in November 2013 following a special election.
However, that isn’t enough for Cantor, who asked McAllister to step down immediately, reports Politico. Cantor said that he did meet with him and discussed him resigning.
“When we took the majority, I had said that I believe we ought to hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Cantor told reporters Tuesday. “And I think what has happened in his instance doesn’t meet that standard. So I told him that I thought he should resign.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that McAllister later issued a statement saying that he will not resign, noting that he did not want to leave his district without representation again.
“[Cantor] 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. “He did ask me to consider resigning, but I respectfully disagree with him and my family is behind my decision.”
However, Cantor has not asked New York Rep. Michael Grimm, also a Republican, to resign. Grimm is facing 20 criminal charges for evading taxes on over $1 million earned from a Manhattan restaurant he owned before 2010.
Cantor’s spokesperson explained that the difference between Grimm’s situation and McAllister is that McAllister admitted to wrongdoing, while Grimm has maintained his innocence. Grimm also plans to run again. Grimm did give up his seat on the Financial Services Committee.