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Challengers to “Kissing Congressman” Lining Up

Louisiana’s 5th District ballot is filling up, with five contenders signed on to challenge embattled incumbent Vance McAllister. Zach Dasher, the nephew of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, qualified for the race Thursday.

Dasher shied away from commenting on McAllister’s highly publicized fall from grace, in which the married congressman was caught on camera kissing an aide. The challenger would only speak of the policy differences between himself and his fellow Republican.

“I’m not for Medicaid expansion. I mean, that’s exactly what I’m running against,” Dasher said.

Pressed to comment on the Robertsons’ withdrawal of support for McAllister, which had been credited with putting McAllister over the top in last year’s special election, Dasher would say only that the family is now solidly behind his candidacy.

“Poor minds talk about people and great minds talk about ideas, so I’m just going to talk about what I’m running on,” Dasher stated. “I’m running on a free market solution and to get the federal government out of our daily lives.”

Other candidates for the 5th district race include Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, former Grant Parish district attorney Ed Tarpley, and Monroe businessman Harris Brown. Dasher, with a campaign being managed by many of the same folks who ran Jindal’s campaigns, said he believes he’s offering the kind of representation 5th District voters are seeking.

“A recent poll showed 67-percent of the folks in the 5th District said the number one issue they’re looking for in a congressman is someone who will fight to restore God back to Congress. That’s what we’re doin’,” Dasher said.

Although Vance McAllister was expected to qualify Thursday afternoon, he reportedly got stuck in traffic, and didn’t make it to Baton Rouge in time. He signed up for the race early Friday.

CORRECTION:  This story has been revised to correctly reflect that Ed Tarpley served as district attorney in Grant Parish, not Rapides Parish as previously reported.