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Rep. McAllister signs up for his re-election bid, then takes 'ice bucket challenge'

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election Friday the same as any other candidate, filling out paperwork and handing over cash to pay his qualifying fee. But he finished it quite differently, doused with ice.

The embattled Republican congressman took the "ice bucket challenge" outside Secretary of State Tom Schedler's office after registering for the Nov. 4 ballot. The challenge is designed to bring donations and attention to the ALS Association, which raises money for Lou Gehrig's disease research.

McAllister's aides dumped an ice chest full of icy water over the congressman, wearing a Saints jersey, before he said his goodbyes and got in his pickup to head to a public speaking event.

Caught up earlier this year in a cheating scandal, the congressman is threatened in his re-election bid, drawing five challengers in the first two days of qualifying.

PHOTO: U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister is doused as he takes the ice bucket challenge after qualifying for his re-election bid Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Baton Rouge, La. The Republican congressman has drawn a crowded field of challengers after a cheating scandal earlier this year. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister is doused as he takes the ice bucket challenge after qualifying for his re-election bid Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Baton Rouge, La. The Republican congressman has drawn a crowded field of challengers after a cheating scandal earlier this year. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

"I guess they smell blood in the water," he joked. Later, he said: "The more, the merrier."

A security video leaked in April showed McAllister kissing a married former staffer who was not his wife. Republican leaders called on McAllister to resign, but he refused. McAllister still is considered to have a strong chance at winning a new term.

The 5th District covers all or part of 24 parishes, from northeast and central Louisiana into southeastern parishes bordering Mississippi.

Candidates running against the incumbent congressman include: Ralph Abraham, a Republican doctor from Mangham; Harris Brown, a Republican businessman from Monroe; Zach Dasher, a relative of the "Duck Dynasty" reality TV family; Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, a Democrat in office for 13 years; and Ed Tarpley of Alexandria, a Republican and former Grant Parish district attorney.

The state's four other incumbent congressmen also have qualified for their races: Republicans Steve Scalise, Charles Boustany and John Fleming and Democrat Cedric Richmond.

McAllister was the only one of Louisiana's U.S. House members to draw well-funded opposition so far. The three-day qualifying period ends Friday.

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