GOP Rep. Vance McAllister has provided yet another demonstration of the perils of selling yourself as a candidate of faith and family values. McAllister issued an apology yesterday, after the Ouachita Citizen published surveillance footage from December showing the 40-year-old congressman from Louisiana passionately making out with staffer Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, who is 33 and married. McAllister's chief of staff confirms to the Monroe News-Star that Peacock has been taken off payroll. McAllister, meanwhile, plans to stand for re-election next fall, "unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people."
McAllister has been married for 16 years, and his wife and five children featured prominently in several TV ads. He's also touted his Christianity in ads, and several outlets have pointed out that he was endorsed by Bible-loving Duck Dynasty stars Phil and Willie Robertson, and invited Willie to the State of the Union address. "I've fallen short as a husband and a father, and I feel more ashamed than you can imagine," McAllister told the News-Star. He said he'd confessed to his wife months ago, and that they're still together. Things aren't so rosy in Peacock's marriage; her husband tells CNN that he's "freaking devastated by the whole deal, man." He only found out hours before the news broke, and says he's headed for divorce. "He wrecked my life," he says of McAllister. "I cannot believe this. I cannot freaking believe it."