NORTH LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Dustin McDaniel is apologizing for what he calls an inappropriate relationship with a Hot Springs attorney.
In the first public appearance since admitting in December to an extramarital relationship, McDaniel apologized to his wife and the people of Arkansas.
McDaniel has been married since 2009 and said he met attorney Andi Davis during his 2010 re-election campaign.
"I allowed a lapse of character and judgement to hurt my character, my friends my reputation and for that I am deeply ashamed, and very sorry," McDaniel said.
McDaniel's wife was also in attendance but did not speak.
He said no cases were ever compromised and no rules of professional conduct were violatedby his extramarital relationship.
McDaniel added that no state resources, money or personnel were ever used for personal purposes.
"The decision to acknowledge the relationship was that I was named in a public filing and sooner or later a member of the media was going to ask me about that," McDaniel explained about the decision to admit to the relationship." I didn't volunteer it. It was still private and very much something that I wanted to deal with privately."
McDaniel said the Attorney General's office opposed Davis in five cases since 2010, adding the state prevailed in each one including the School Choice case. He said when the state lost the School Choice argument in 2012, Davis was no longer the opposing counsel at the hearing.
Despite the indiscretion, McDaniel said he will continue with his campaign and asked Arkansans for a second chance.
"We are committed to moving forward with my campaign for governor in 2014," McDaniel said. "I do so humbly recognizing that I need to earn the second chance that I'm asking for."
Governor Mike Beebe also weighed in on whether this could affect some voters' decision of whether to vote for McDaniel's.
"Well, it will be with some you know it will be. With some it will be and some it won't," Gov. Beebe said. "It will all depend on how it gets handled going forward."
Davis told TalkBusiness.net she is disappointed.
"It is one thing to make a mistake and another to keep making it. I feel hamstrung by the legal complexities that exist in my life at this juncture as they prevent me from speaking freely," Davis told the publication. "I understand that I made the choices and decisions that led me to where I stand today. Being patient and waiting for the prudent time to release my truth is extremely taxing. I am frustrated that the press release did not provide anyone involved with the ability to relax and move on in a productive manner."