The wife of "kissing congressman" Rep. Vance McAllister comes to his defense in a new ad for the Louisiana Republican lawmaker that alludes to the scandal dogging his re-election bid.
Titled "Blessed," the $75,000 ad-buy was released Monday and will run district-wide, the Times-Picayune reports.
"I'm blessed to have a husband that owns up to his mistakes, never gives up, always fighting for the good people of Louisiana," Kelly McAllister declares in the ad.
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Neither McAllister nor his wife directly mention the video that surfaced of the lawmaker
and a married female staffer kissing.
The Times-Picayune reports that the couple have completed marriage counseling, and that McAllister says his wife played a key role in his decision to seek re-election.
"I think a lot of people want to know where my wife is," McAllister told the newspaper. "We want people to know we're stronger now than we ever were before. She said if we're going to [run again], we're doing it together."
McAllister easily won a special election last year
against state Sen. Neil Riser after former Rep. Rodney Alexander's resignation. But this year's race is a toss-up because of the scandal, the Times-Picayune reports.
McAllister is up against Republican Zach Dasher, among others, in a crowded field of candidates. Dasher, nephew of "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson, has snagged the endorsement of the Club for Growth.
Louisiana holds all-party primaries Nov. 4, and if no candidate wins a majority, a December runoff will be held.
The Washington Post notes
the McAllister ad is in the mold of one that Republican South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford ran last year for his congressional bid after a marital scandal rocked his tenure as governor.
"I've experienced how none of us go through life without mistakes," Sanford said in his ad. "But in their wake, we can learn a lot about grace, a God of second chances, and be the better for it. In that light, I humbly step forward and ask for your help in changing Washington."
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Though the messages are similar, Sanford never reconciled with his wife and she was not in his ad, the Post notes.
"Getting forgiveness and getting re-elected are two different things," political consultant Roy Fletcher told the Times-Picayune. "It's clear from them having to do this ad that [the scandal] is eating them up."
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