PINEVILLE, La. (AP) — Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Tarpley says the incumbent's public statements convinced him that the 5th District needs a stronger, more conservative voice.
The Alexandria attorney's long announcement Saturday did not mention that the faith-and-family McAllister was caught on video in a long kiss with an aide married to one of his friends.
However, he did write, "It is my belief that together we can begin to restore the people's confidence in their elected officials, but we must elect men and women of strong moral character with a commitment to ethical behavior and a willingness to serve."
McAllister, a wealthy businessman, has served less than five months. He had no prior political experience when he won a special election last fall, trouncing his party's establishment candidate in the conservative northeast Louisiana district.
While some Republicans have urged him to resign, McAllister has said he will respect the verdict of his constituents this fall, when he seeks a full two-year term.
Tarpley, who was district attorney in Grant Parish from 1991 to 1997, said he will campaign on issues rather than personality, focusing "on the need to elect the right representative with the proper experience and preparation to best serve this country and our 5th District."
He said he also was entering the race because of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama, saying the Justice Department has failed to enforce laws and the president has disregarded existing law in implementing the Affordable Care Act.
"I am committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with 'free market' reforms that encourage freedom of choice and patient's rights," he wrote.
And, he said, if elected "I will work to pass tax reform with the goal to simplify the tax structure while insuring that all Americans pay some form of income or minimum alternative tax. We can no longer afford to promote a system where the burden of taxation is shouldered by fewer and fewer citizens each year."