Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (Photo: Daniel Wilkerson, KTHV)
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV/AP) - Arkansas Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Dustin McDaniel faced the media for the first time since admitting to an extramarital relationship.
McDaniel on Tuesday held a news conference at a North Little Rock hotel, three weeks after acknowledging an inappropriate relationship with Hot Springs attorney Andrea L. Davis.
McDaniel has been married since 2009 and said he met Davis during his 2010 re-election campaign. During the press conference, McDaniel apologized to Arkansas citizens and his wife for his relationship with Davis.
"I was honest about it, and I continue to be honest and forthright," McDaniel said in front of a crowded room. "I think the most you can do is tell the truth, be strong, and humbly ask for forgiveness of your fellow man and that's what I'm doing."
McDaniel has repeatedly refused interview requests and had not previously made any public appearance since admitting to the relationship in a Dec. 18 statement released by his campaign.
When asked Tuesday what he thinks he needs to do from this point on, McDaniel said he is focusing on doing his career and serving Arkansans.
"I think I have to do my job, and do it well. I think I have to continue to focus on the issues that face our families," McDaniel said.
He also talked about the challenging upcoming legislative session, in which lawmakers will discuss public education and public safety, among other topics.
While confirming again that there was an "inappropriate relationship" with Davis, McDaniel would not provide any details regarding the situation. He promised, from this point on, that "no other shoe would drop."
McDaniel is the only announced Democratic candidate for governor. He has said he has no plans to drop his 2014 bid.
"I think it's probably true that a lot of the same qualities that drive some people to run for office, the ambition and that love of being in the spotlight are probably also related to not being faithful to your spouse," said Dr. Joseph Giammo, the chair of UALR's Political Science Department.
Dr. Giammo said unless there are more scandals associated with McDaniel, the incident may not have an impact on his run for governor.
"There are two distinct groups out there. There's one group that cares about it quite a bit and wouldn't vote for somebody that is caught it this type of scandal and then there are other people that will say ... it's part of their private life and we only care about the way they do their job," said Dr. Giammo.
(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)