Nationally, the Republican Party may be in dissaray after a dissappointing election year in which Democrats won the White House and picked up seats in both houses of Congress. In Louisiana, however, it’s been a different story. On Saturday, the GOP celebrated two big wins when John Flemming narrowly defeated Democrat Pual Carmouche by 356 votes in an open seat election in the 4th Congressional District and newcomer Republican Anh “Joesph” Cao unseated 9-term incumbent William Jefferson in the 2nd Congressional District. Their election comes on the heels of Republican Bill Cassidy's Nov. 4 victory over Democrat Don Cazayoux in the 6th Congressional District.
On Sunday, Republicans were celebrating the victories, with the crowning prize being the 2nd Congressional district. Cao, now the nation’s first Vietnamese-born Congressman, instantly won international headlines for his upset victory over Jefferson, who was indicted last year on federal racketeering charges. With Jefferson having become a symbol of corruption and old school politics in much of the state, the GOP held up Cao’s victory as a sign that Republicans are helping restore ethical government. Republican Party of Louisiana Communications Director Aaron Baer released the following statement regarding the December 6th elections:
“In a year when Republicans lost 20 Congressional seats, seven Senate seats and the White House, three non-incumbent Republicans have now clinched victory in Louisiana. Governor Jindal supported all three of these candidates for Congress and Governor Jindal’s support of John Fleming is especially notable, as his endorsement competed with President-Elect Barack Obama’s support for Fleming’s opponent in the race. Yesterday, the voters spoke and their resounding choice for reforming government, ending corruption, and reining in spending - all championed in Governor Jindal’s own campaign - won.”
Update: Democratic State Party Chairman Chris Whittington released the following response: “The outcome of this race, and the race in Louisiana 4th Congressional District, where provisional ballots still haven't been counted, probably would have been different if they hadn't been postponed by hurricane Gustav. After Democrats historic wins on Nov. 4, Republicans painted the remaining elections as a last chance to put a tourniquet on the bleeding. We congratulate Joseph Cao, but expect he'll have a tough re-election battle in this heavily Democratic district in two years."