Indicted La. Rep Jefferson Loses to GOP Newbie

Victor becomes first Vietnamese-American in Congress
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2008 1:37 PM CST

(Newser) – An election delay caused by Hurricane Gustav likely helped tip the vote away from scandal-plagued Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, whose nine-term Congressional career came to an unexpected end yesterday, the Times-Picayune reports. Republican newbie Anh "Joseph" Cao unseated the 2nd district’s incumbent African-American Democrat in an election marked by much lower turnout than November’s general election, considered a disadvantage for Jefferson despite the district’s large black population.

"Never in my life did I think I could be a future congressman," Cao, the first Vietnamese-American ever elected to Congress, told his supporters. "The American dream is well and alive.” Internal Democratic challenges to Jefferson, indicted last year on bribery and corruption charges, weakened his candidacy and drove his party rivals’ supporters to Cao.