Republican ousts Jefferson in La.

Dec. 6, 2008 at 11:43 PM
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BATON ROUGE, La., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Rep. William Jefferson, a Democrat under indictment on corruption charges, trailed a Republican newcomer Saturday in Louisiana's election.

Jefferson's 2nd district seat in the New Orleans area and the 4th district around Shreveport, La., were the last remaining Congressional races this year.

With almost 80 percent of precincts reporting, Anh "Joseph" Cao, a lawyer making his first run for office, had 53 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Jefferson, The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported. Turnout was low in the heavily Democratic district.

Jefferson, who has represented the district for nine terms, suggested before voting began that black voters who turned out in large numbers Nov. 4 to support Barack Obama for president might stay home because they believed Jefferson had already won a 10th term. This year, for the first time in Louisiana, congressional candidates first ran for their party's nomination and then in a runoff primary if no one won 50 percent of the vote and, finally, in a partisan election.

In the 4th district, Republican John Fleming was ahead of Democrat Paul Carmouche by 356 votes in the race for an open seat. Republican Jim McCrery decided to retire after 10 terms.

Fleming had 48 percent of the vote to 47.7 percent for Carmouche with about 30,000 ballots cast, KTBS-TV reported.

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