Louisiana Voters Send Jefferson to a Runoff

Posted October 4, 2008 at 11:39pm

Louisiana voters went to the polls on Saturday for the final primary election of the 2008 cycle, and they gave indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D) the chance to continue fighting for his seat.

In the New Orleans-based 2nd district, Jefferson secured enough votes to head to a runoff, where he appears set to face former television news anchor Helena Moreno. (As of this posting, 94 percent of the district’s precincts had reported.) The winner of the runoff will be highly favored against Republican Anh Cao in the general election.

Meanwhile, in the open 4th district seat of retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R), neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were able to settle on their nominees Saturday. After a nasty and expensive primary race, trucking company executive Chris Gorman and physician John Fleming will face each other in the Republican runoff. The two men outperformed Bossier Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Thompson — whom McCrery and national Republicans endorsed in the primary. On the Democratic side, Caddo Parish District Attorney Paul Carmouche will now be heavily favored over veteran Willie Banks. The district will be a highly competitive race in December.

After Hurricane Gustav swept through Louisiana just before the state’s original September primary date, state officials reshuffled the election calendar to allow residents time to deal with the displacement and destruction caused by the storm. The new schedule sets the Congressional primary runoff date for Nov. 4 with the general election to follow in early December.