Thursday, December 04, 2008

House Seats 2008: Not Over Yet

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at

There is going to be an election this Saturday: 2 house seats are up in Louisiana. What's that? You thought the election was in November? Well, yes, but...remember Gustav? Hurricane Gustav? That weather event changed the primary, and therefore general dates, for the 2nd and 4th districts.

The primaries were held on November 4th, since damage precluded them being held in September as they were supposed to be.

The 4th is along the Texas and Arkansas borders, in the northwest part of the state. Long-term Rep Jim McCrery (R) retired, so this weekend's players are:

  • Paul Carmouche (D)
  • John Fleming, Jr. (R)
  • Chester "Catfish" Kelley (No Party)
  • Gerard Bowen, Jr (No Party)

President-elect Obama recorded a radio ad for Carmouche. Fleming was helped by Dick Cheney (fundraising) and Bobby Jindal (TV ad).

Carmouche (who is white) beat Willie Banks (who is black) in the Democratic primary. To win the election, he'll need African-American support.
"If Carmouche doesn't get good support from black voters, you can stick a fork in him," said Bernie Pinsonat, a Baton Rouge-based pollster.
Then again:
But the GOP also had a fractious runoff campaign, with candidate Chris Gorman flogging Fleming over his support for a plan to document and transport foreigners into the country as temporary laborers. Gorman also attacked Fleming's support of the so-called Fair Tax plan, which would eliminate the income tax and impose a new, 23 percent sales tax.
So, we'll see. The Republicans would REALLY like to hold on to this seat.

And then we have the 2nd. Here's the list of candidates:

  • William Jefferson (D)
  • Anh "Joseph" Cao (R)
  • Malik Rahim (G)
  • Gregory "Rhumbline" Kahn (L)
  • Jerry Jacobs (No Party)

If the name "William Jefferson" sounds familiar, think "cash in the freezer." That would be $90,000 in cold hard cash. The FBI found the money in 2006. Jefferson was re-elected. He was indicted last year. It's been low key, and will depend on turnout, which is expected to be in the low 20% range. There's a GOP poll out showing Cao winning 50% to Jefferson's 35%. But if Jefferson can rally his base, he could be headed back for a 10th term. And no, his trial date hasn't been set yet.

Malik Rahim, as an aside, is a former member of the Black Panthers, and has the support of Cynthia McKinney. She ran this year for President on the Green Party ticket, but you may remember her from the 2006 incident where she had an altercation with the Capitol police, who did not recognize her as a member of Congress, which she was at the time.