Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cao Unseats Jefferson in Louisiana

William Jefferson, the Democratic Congressman from New Orleans who had $90,000 in unmarked bills found in his freezer in 2005, has lost his seat last night to Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao, an attorney who becomes the first Vietnamese-American to be elected to Congress.

The Congressional election was delayed due to Hurricane Gustav. Cao became active in politics after Hurricane Katrina damaged both his home and business. He is the first Republican elected from the 2nd District since Reconstruction.

Cao won with a coalition of Republicans, disaffected Democrats and the Vietnamese community (who tend to vote Republican on principle.) Although Jefferson is expected to go on trial in 2009, Cao will have an uphill battle in retaining his seat in a heavily Democratic and African-American constituency regardless of his opponent in 2010.

I'm sure Cao and John McCain would have a lot to talk about. Cao's father was an officer in the South Vietnamese Army and was captured by the North Vietnamese and placed in POW camp. Cao, his mother and two sisters came to America in 1975 after the fall of Saigon.

"Never in my life did I think I would be a future Congressman. The American dream is well and alive," said Cao in his victory speech last night.

Amen to that.

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