Vance McAllister

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Vance McAllister
Vance McAllister.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 5th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
November 21, 2013
Preceded byRodney Alexander
Personal details
BornVance Michael McAllister
(1974-01-07) January 7, 1974 (age 39)
Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kelly Duncan McAllister (m. 1997)
ChildrenFive
ResidenceSwartz, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana
Alma materUniversity of Louisiana at Monroe
OccupationDiversified businessman
ReligionSouthern Baptist
 
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Vance McAllister
Vance McAllister.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 5th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
November 21, 2013
Preceded byRodney Alexander
Personal details
BornVance Michael McAllister
(1974-01-07) January 7, 1974 (age 39)
Oak Grove, West Carroll Parish, Louisiana, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Kelly Duncan McAllister (m. 1997)
ChildrenFive
ResidenceSwartz, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana
Alma materUniversity of Louisiana at Monroe
OccupationDiversified businessman
ReligionSouthern Baptist

Vance Michael McAllister, Sr. (born January 7, 1974), is a newly-elected Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana's 5th congressional district. A resident of Swartz in Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana, McAllister has a background in business and the military. He won a special runoff election held on November 16, 2013, for the seat vacated by fellow Republican Rodney Alexander. He defeated State Senator Neil Riser of Columbia in Caldwell Parish, who was the choice of much of the state's Republican leadership.

According to the office of Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler in Baton Rouge, McAllister defeated Riser, 54,449 (59.7 percent) to 36,837 (40.3 percent), with all 981 precincts reporting.[1]


Background[edit]

McAllister was born to Mr. and Mrs. Gene McAllister in Oak Grove in West Carroll Parish in northeastern Louisiana. The senior McAllister worked for forty-two years at the former International Paper Company mill in Bastrop in Morehouse Parish. McAllister grew up on a small farm in West Carroll Parish and graduated in 1992 from Forest High School in Forest, south of Oak Grove. Immediately after high school, McAllister entered the United States Army, in which he became a combat medic and served a tour of duty in South Korea. Later, he was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky.[2] He subsequently joined the Louisiana National Guard and attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe but dropped out to accept employment from Mustang Engineering, a company which sent him on foreign assignments. He remained affiliated with Mustang until he resigned to run for Congress.[3]


Business career[edit]

McAllister first worked in the oilfield technology business and then branched into oil and natural gas leasing, real estate, convenience stores, pipeline construction, equipment rental, and the promotion of wrestling matches and other sporting events. His most successful company is an oil exploration and production company, Texas Coastal Energy Company, based in Irving, TX. Texas Coastal explores for oil and natural gas domestically, and is run by their CEO, Jeff Gordon. He has a Fox Pizza fast-food restaurant franchises and owns three Subway sandwich shops, two in Monroe and one in Oak Grove.[2]

2013 congressional election[edit]

McAllister was politically unknown until he entered the contest to choose a successor to Rodney Alexander, who stepped down on September 26, 2013, in the first year of his sixth term in Congress, to join the administration of Governor Bobby Jindal as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2013, McAllister ran for the United States House of Representatives in a special election to replace Rodney Alexander, who had retired. With 18 percent of the vote, McAllister finished second among fourteen candidates in the first round of balloting held on October 19. State Senator Neil Riser finished first with 32 percent of the vote. In the first round of balloting, Riser led McAllister by nearly 15,000 votes and carried thirteen of the twenty-four parishes in the district. McAllister was the leading votegetter only in West Carroll and Richland parishes but ran a strong second to Riser in Ouachita Parish.[4] As the top two candidates, Riser and McAllister, entered the runoff contest.

The catalyst for McAllister strong showing in the race is believed in part to have been a result of his celebrity endorsement from Phil Robertson of the Duck Dynasty television series, which is filmed in West Monroe. Robertson even joked he fact that McAllister has less political experience than Riser is a factor in McAllister's favor.[5]

Riser stressed his own experience acquired since 2008 in passing legislation, working on the Louisiana state budget, and performing constitutent services,[6] but McAllister disagrees. "Look where experience has gotten us. Washington is so disconnected from the 5th District that voters are turning their backs on the establishment," McAllister is quoted in an interview with the Monroe-based journalist Greg Hilburn.[7]

McAllister spent more than $400,000 of his own money in the primary campaign. "A lot of people are seeking me out now asking how I got here, more about my business and background and who I am and what I stand for. They asked why did you put your money in there. It's because there's no strings attached to me. I'm a complete outsider. I've earned everything I've [spent] in this race myself," McAllister told Hilburn.[7] McAllister said that he has since the primary received limited funding from supporters in the runoff campaign.[7]He spent an additional $400,000 in the race against Riser.[8]

McAllister and Riser both oppose the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010 by U.S. President Barack H. Obama, but the two differ on how to approach the legislation known as Obamacare. McAllister opposed the United States federal government shutdown of 2013 as a proper method to force the repeal of the measure: "Obamacare is a nightmare, but it's a reality, and it’s here. [We] have to live with it, we have to make it livable. We have to make it work for the people until one day we [have the votes] to repeal it."[7] Riser, however, supports the House Republicans' failed effort to de-fund the Affordable Care Act despite the temporary government shutdown. He supports a balanced budget at the national level, as is required for all the states.[6]

McAllister said that he would support a path to citizenship for individuals already in the country illegally.[7] Riser, however, urged that border security be addressed before any other immigration concern. Riser endorsed the House approach of piecemeal immigration reform, rather than the comprehensive route favored by the U.S. Senate.[6]

Though the Republican national legislative delegation from Louisiana supported Riser, McAllister won the support of the third-place special election candidate, Jamie Mayo, the Democratic mayor of Monroe. Mayo said he found McAllister "more approachable" than Riser.[9] Days later, McAllister garnered the endorsement of Republican Clyde C. Holloway, who ran fourth in the primary, just behind Mayo.[10]

On November 16, 2013, McAllister carried 14 of the 24 parishes in the district, including large margins in his home parishes of West Carroll and Ouachita as well as in Rapides, the largest parish in Central Louisiana, Jackson, Lincoln, Morehouse, Richland, and the African-American majority parishes, East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas. Riser fared best within his state Senate district, including his home parish of Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, and La Salle and several of the Florida Parishes in the southeastern corner of the state.[1]


New representative[edit]

Upon taking office, McAllister retained Alexander's congressional staff, headed by Gregory Adam Terry (born 1980), formerly of Harrisonburg and Ruston, Louisiana. McAllister's swearing-in marked his first ever trip to Washington, D.C.[11] He predicted that he will take conservative positions most of the time, but on occasion he will vote liberal on roll call votes. "Every incumbent ought to be a little nervous. ... The 5th District spoke and they [sic] spoke loud and clear. They see that if one of the poorest districts in the country can do it [rebut the party establishment], why wouldn't one of the most powerful districts in the country do it?", McAllister said, after he was sworn into office by Speaker John Boehner.[8]

Jeffrey D. Sadow, a political scientist from Louisiana State University in Shreveport, urged McAllister to vote "consistently conservative" and "to do so immediately to discourage challengers from the right unconvinced [that] he is a principled conservative."[8]

Personal life[edit]

McAllister and his wife, the former Kelly Duncan, whom he married in 1997, have five children and reside in rural Swartz east of Monroe. Their oldest child, Anna Claire Rogers (born c. 1995) was adopted in 2010, when she was fifteen; she is a student at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. The younger children are Emilie Katherine (born c. 2002), Duncan Michael (born c. 2005), Vance "Deuce" McAllister, II (born c. 2009), and Eva Grace (born c. 2010).[2]

McAllister is a member of the North Monroe Baptist Church. He describes his decision to run for Congress as a "prayerful one. Many people make light of my spiritual faith, but that is okay with me. I know the blessing that I have received from the good Lord and the inner peace that comes from being a believer. ... I knew there were a number of qualified people in the district to be congressman, but also I realized that I had the time and the financial capability ... that maybe [the others] didn't."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "5th congressional district special election returns, November 16, 2013". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d James Ronald Skains, "Riser, McAllister placed in runoff for Congress seat", The Piney Woods Journal, November 2013, pp. 1, 2, 4
  3. ^ "About Vance McAllister". Facebook. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Results for Election Date: 10/19/2013". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Scott Kaufman, Duck Dynasty’ patron Phil Robertson endorses Vance McAllister because he ‘has the least experience’, October 20, 2013". rawstory.com. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c "Greg Hilburn, Neil Riser: No time for amateur hour in Congress". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Vance McAllister: 'Look where experience has gotten us', November 3, 2013". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "McAllister: Election sends message to incumbents, November 24, 2013". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Mayo supports more approachable McAllister". The News-Star. Monroe, La. Archived from the original on November 15, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  10. ^ McGaughy, Lauren (2013-11-05). "Holloway endorses McAllister ahead of 5th Congressional District election". Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  11. ^ "Greg Hilburn, McAllister makes first trip to D.C., November 20, 2013". The News-Star. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rodney Alexander
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 5th congressional district

November 21, 2013 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jason T. Smith
R-Missouri
United States Representatives by seniority
435th
Succeeded by
Delegate Eni Faleomavaega
D-American Samoa