– In a year when national Republican fortunes took a turn for the worse, Louisiana delivered the GOP two seats in Congress in elections delayed by Hurricane Gustav.
Indicted Democratic U.S. Rep. William Jefferson was ousted Saturday from his New Orleans area district, while Republicans narrowly held on to the seat vacated by a retiring incumbent.
The wins followed Republicans' reconquest of another House seat earlier this fall that had been lost to Democrats.
In the 2nd Congressional District, which includes most of New Orleans, Republican attorney Anh "Joseph" Cao won 50 percent of the vote to Jefferson's 47 percent and will become the first Vietnamese-American in Congress. His only previous political experience was an unsuccessful 2007 bid for a seat in the state legislature.
In the 4th Congressional District in western Louisiana, Republican John Fleming squeaked past Democrat Paul Carmouche in the race to replace retiring 10-term Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La. Only a few hundred votes separated the two.
Republicans made an aggressive push to take the 2nd District seat from the 61-year-old Jefferson, who has