Vitter Faces Louisiana Primary Test

Louisiana's primary will test whether scandals have weakened the incumbent senator.


In Louisiana's Second District, Republican Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao is a top target for Democrats this election. The Second District, a majority black district that contains New Orleans, was a Democratic stronghold before Cao won in 2008. The previous officeholder, Democrat William Jefferson, represented the district for 18 years, and 75 percent of second-district voters chose Barack Obama over John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. Jefferson's 2007 indictment on 16 corruption charges (of which he was convicted of 11), including obstruction of justice and bribery, was a major factor in Cao's victory. 

Cao is unopposed for the Republican nomination, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been campaigning hard: of the $1.5 million he's raised, Cao has already spent over $1.2 million.

In the Democratic primary, four candidates have filed candidate papers. The most competitive contenders are both current Louisiana state senators: Cedric Richmond and Juan LaFonta. Richmond has the endorsement of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as a fundraising edge, with over $166,000 in the bank as of August 8 and over $550,000 in total receipts. LaFonta has taken in $328,941 this cycle, but reports only $13,590 at his disposal as of August 8. The winner will be closely watched in one of this year's few congressional races in which a GOP seat could go to the Democrats.

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