McAllister defies Cantor, says he won't resign

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has told Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister he should resign in the wake of a video showing him kissing a married female aide, but the embattled Republican husband and father says he won't give up his seat.

"I'm not going to run away. And I believe that I'm not going to leave my district voiceless again for the second time," McAllister said Tuesday after meeting with Cantor, R-Va. A Cantor spokesman said the majority leader told McAllister he should step down.

McAllister had already said he would not run for re-election and apologized for conduct he called a "personal failure." Cantor spokesman Rory Cooper said the majority leader believes that Republicans should hold themselves to a high moral standard and that McAllister's conduct didn't meet that standard.

Cantor's comments were first reported by Politico. McAllister was elected to Congress last year after Rodney Alexander, R-La., resigned to join Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's cabinet. Alexander said Monday he will not seek election to Congress.

Jindal and state Republican Party Chairman Roger Villere called on McAllister to resign after a Louisiana newspaper released a grainy security tape that showed McAllister kissing Melissa Peacock, an aide and family friend, in the congressman's district headquarters.

McAllister apologized and Peacock resigned, along with the congressman's district director, who was suspected of releasing the video. McAllister had stayed out of public sight since the scandal erupted three weeks ago, canceling events for therapy sessions and spending time with his wife and five children during Congress' Easter recess. McAllister returned to Washington late Monday and has voted on several bills.

Associated Press writer Donna Cassata contributed to this story.

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