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McDaniel: Affair was 'entirely my fault'

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published January 8, 2013 at 9:25 a.m. Updated January 8, 2013 at 12:58 p.m.


McDaniel speaks to the press Jan. 8 regarding his extramarital affair with Hot Springs attorney Andrea Davis.

Excerpts from McDaniel news conference

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Dustin McDaniel addressed the media for the first time since acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with a Hot Springs attorney. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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Arkansas State Police investigator Dennis Morris escorts a handcuffed Andrea Davis to a car on Feb. 29 after the body of Maxwell Anderson was found ou...

— Democratic gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Dustin McDaniel spoke for the first time Tuesday about an extramarital relationship with a Hot Springs attorney that came to light last month.

McDaniel addressed members of media at an 11 a.m. news conference at the Wyndham hotel in North Little Rock. [CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO] He spoke alone, noting "This situation is entirely my fault."

In a statement issued Dec. 18, McDaniel admitted an "inappropriate" relationship with Hot Springs attorney Andi Davis. It was later revealed that Davis was the opposing counsel in five cases that were handled by the attorney general’s office under McDaniel.

McDaniel said he wanted to talk publicly to "take responsibility" and to address rumors about the situation. "There are no other shoes to fall," he said. "I love my wife very much."

McDaniel said he has met Davis less than half a dozen times. And he said those interactions that were inappropriate were a mistake that "had no impact on my job or the work done by the very competent and capable staff of the attorney general's office."

McDaniel also assured that his staff "had no knowledge of my personal interaction with [Davis]."

He said he also has no knowledge of the ongoing investigation into the death of Hot Springs resident Maxwell Anderson. Anderson's body was found outside Davis' home and she was escorted from the home in handcuffs when deputies responded Feb. 29.

McDaniel said he has no knowledge of the case or jurisdiction over it.

"In short, I know nothing about it," he said.

McDaniel said he remains committed to running for governor despite the controversy. "I do so humbly, recognizing I need to earn the second chance I am asking for," he said.

"I have prayed and continued to pray for God's forgiveness and grace. I also renew today my apology to the people of Arkansas who have important issues that demand attention rather than distractions of my creation."

The affair was first alleged in court filings in a custody dispute between Davis and her ex-husband. In the statement, McDaniel apologized but offered few details, noting he and his wife have "moved on with our life together."

McDaniel on Tuesday again didn't go into specifics about the affair itself, characterizing it only as an inappropriate relationship that occurred only in 2011 on a limited basis.

He said he would never engage in such behavior again, regardless of where his political career takes him.

"I'm far more concerned throughout the rest of my life with being her husband than I am with being governor," he said at one point during the half-hour news conference. "Although I'd like to do both. But whether I'm governor or not, this will never be a concern in my life again."

McDaniel is the only Democratic candidate to announce he is running for governor in 2014. On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson has said he expects to run and Curtis Coleman has formed an exploratory committee to consider entering the race.

Read more on this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Comments on: McDaniel: Affair was 'entirely my fault'

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djaye says... January 8, 2013 at 11:51 a.m.

I bet his wife gets anything she wants now...

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ArkansasHawk says... January 8, 2013 at 12:09 p.m.

If his wife can't trust him, then how can we as voters. If he cheats on his wife, my bet is he'll cheat on the state of Arkansas. Just saying.....

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YoungHog says... January 8, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.

the MEDIA should have turned down this CLOWNS news conference.. as this is a JOKE.. not NEWS.

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Populist says... January 8, 2013 at 12:31 p.m.

He just does not get that there is anything wrong with serial cheating on your second wife when you are still a newlywed. This guy does not get that he is an inappropriate role model for children. If he had any decency or humility, he would announce that he is pulling out of the governor's race to concentrate on his marriage. Only then, would he have a chance in the future. McDaniel's lack of fidelity indicates a lack of character and maturity; he simply is unfit to be governor. The Democrats need to pull the rug out from under him, or they might as well dispense with the election and allow the Republicans to just take over. The Democratic Party of Arkansas is in a shambles, and this character is one of the reasons. The Republican Party is wholly owned by the Koch Corporation. Heaven help Arkansas.

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ArkansasHawk says... January 8, 2013 at 12:38 p.m.

Mike Ross has to get into the race now! I can't vote for a Republican, so Please Mike get into the race!

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PaulRevere says... January 8, 2013 at 1:12 p.m.

It's all about politics. Get the bad news out of the way early so voters will forget. It's not a Rep / Dem thing. Both parties have their dogs.

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readytorumble says... January 8, 2013 at 1:21 p.m.

McDaniel also assured that his staff "had no knowledge of my personal interaction with [Davis]."
"Interaction"? Is that what they are calling it now? This is just what we need. Another Democratic governor who can't keep his pants zipped.

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SRBROTHERINLAW says... January 8, 2013 at 1:43 p.m.


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jimmywo says... January 8, 2013 at 1:59 p.m.

ArkansasHawk..Mike Ross is no longer in politics. As of this week he is employed in the private sector.

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