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United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2008


United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2008

The 2008 congressional elections in Louisiana to determine representation for the state of Louisiana in the United States House of Representatives occurred November 4, 2008. Louisiana has seven seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; those elected will serve in the 111th Congress from January 4, 2009 until January 3, 2011. The election coincided with the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

The primary elections were to be held September 6, 2008, but were rescheduled for October 3, 2008 due to storm damage following Hurricane Gustav. The necessary party runoffs were held on November 4, the same date as the presidential election, and the general election for those races was held December 6th.[1][2]


United States House of Representatives elections in Louisiana, 2008[3]
Party Votes Percentage Seats +/–
Republican 594,306 56.81% 6 +2
Democratic 398,474 38.09% 1 -2
Independents 50,964 4.87% 0 -
Green 1,883 0.18% 0 -
Libertarian 549 0.05% 0 -
Totals 1,046,176 100.00% 7

District 1

Republican incumbent Steve Scalise won against Democratic nominee Jim Harlan, a businessman. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Republican'.

Louisiana's 1st congressional district election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Scalise (inc.) 189,168 65.68
Democratic Jim Harlan 98,839 34.32
Total votes 288,007 100.00
Republican hold

District 2

The district includes nearly all of New Orleans and some of its suburbs, and is heavily Democratic: John Kerry won 75% of the vote here in 2004. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'. The primary runoff in this district was held on November 4 in place of the general election, with the general election moving to December 6.

Incumbent William Jefferson has been indicted on 16 counts of corruption, complicating his reelection bid. His opponents in the primary were New Orleans city councilman James Carter, former New Orleans city councilman Troy Carter, Jefferson Parish councilman Byron Lee, former TV anchor Helena Moreno, State Representative Cedric Richmond, and former mayoral aide Kenya Smith. No candidate received 50% of the vote or more in the 4 October 2008 primary; so Jefferson and Moreno, the two candidates with the most votes, competed in a runoff on 4 November, which Jefferson won.[4]

Jefferson faced Anh "Joseph" Cao, the sole Republican running,[5] along with Green candidate Malik Rahim, Libertarian candidate Gregory Kahn, and Independent candidate Jerry Jacobs on 6 December 2008. Some 2 hours after the polls closed, CNN declared Cao the winner, defeating Jefferson by a plurality of less than 3 percent.[6] By the next morning Cao's victory was widely acclaimed.[7]

Louisiana's 2nd congressional district election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joseph Cao 33,132 49.54
Democratic Bill Jefferson (inc.) 31,318 46.83
Green Malik Rahim 1,883 2.82
Libertarian Gregory W. Kahn 549 0.82
Total votes 66,846 100.00
Republican gain from Democratic

District 3

Democratic incumbent Charlie Melancon ran unopposed for re-election. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'.

District 4

The election was held on December 6, 2008.

Incumbent Jim McCrery retired, making this an open seat. The district contains northwestern Louisiana, including the cities of Shreveport, DeRidder, and Natchitoches. The district usually, but not reliably, votes Republican. Bill Clinton won it comfortably in 1996. CQ Politics' forecast of the race was "No Clear Favorite".

The Republican nominee was physician John Fleming (campaign website) of Minden, the seat of Webster Parish. Fleming, a former Webster Parish coroner and a businessman defeated trucking company executive Chris Gorman in the Republican runoff primary held on November 4.

The Democratic candidate was Caddo Parish District Attorney local party organizer and environmental consultant and a 2006 candidate against McCrery, did not enter the 2008 race.

Louisiana's 4th congressional district election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican John Fleming 44,501 48.07
Democratic Paul Carmouche 44,151 47.69
Independent Catfish Kelley 3,245 3.51
Independent Gerard J. Bowen, Jr. 675 0.73
Total votes 92,572 100.00
Republican hold

District 5

Republican incumbent Rodney Alexander was unopposed for re-election and won. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Republican'.

District 6

Republican State Senator Bill Cassidy defeated Democratic incumbent Don Cazayoux in the November 4 election by a margin of 48%–40%. Cazayoux had defeated Republican Woody Jenkins 49%–46% in a special election earlier in the year, and given his narrow margin of victory and the Republican-leaning nature of the district (Bush won 59% here in 2004), Cazayoux was, as expected, a GOP target as he sought his first full term.

State Representative Michael L. Jackson, who had run against Cazayoux in the Democratic primary in the special election, ran as an independent with funding from long-time Cassidy supporter Lane Grigsby.[8] He finished third,[9] garnering 36,133 votes, more than the 25,000-vote margin between Cassidy and Cazayoux, suggesting that he siphoned off many African-American votes that would have otherwise gone to Cazayoux and threw the election to Cassidy. The Daily Kingfish published photos of Jackson meeting with Congressman-elect Cassidy just three days after the election.[10] Cazayoux was one of five incumbent House Democrats to be defeated in the 2008 congressional elections, along with Nancy Boyda (D-KS), William J. Jefferson (D-LA), Nick Lampson (D-TX), and Tim Mahoney (D-FL).

Louisiana's 6th congressional district election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Cassidy 150,332 48.12
Democratic Don Cazayoux (inc.) 125,886 40.29
Independent Michael Jackson 36,198 11.59
Total votes 312,416 100.00
Republican gain from Democratic

District 7

Republican incumbent Charles Boustany defeated Democratic State Senator Don Cravins, Jr. by a solid margin in this district based in southwestern Louisiana.

Louisiana's 7th congressional district election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles Boustany (inc.) 177,173 61.88
Democratic Don Cravins, Jr. 98,280 34.33
Independent Peter Vidrine 10,846 3.79
Total votes 286,299 100.00
Republican hold


  1. ^ Primaries likely to be postponed Ed Anderson, The Times-Picayune, September 5, 2008
  2. ^ Louisiana Primary Blown Back to Oct. 4 by Hurricane’s Aftermath Bob Benenson, CQ Politics, September 5, 2008
  3. ^
  4. ^ .Times-PicayunePrimary election 2008 results in the
  5. ^
  6. ^ CNN 2008 December 6 Louisiana's 2nd congressional district election results.
  7. ^ Michelle Krupa, "Congressman-elect Anh 'Joseph' Cao Vows to Work with Everyone to Rebuild the 2nd District" in Times-Picayune, 2008 December 7 (accessed 2008 December 7).
  8. ^
  9. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State-Multi-Parish Elections Inquiry
  10. ^ [1]

External links

  • Elections Division from the Louisiana Secretary of State
  • U.S. Congress candidates for Louisiana at Project Vote Smart
  • Louisiana U.S. House Races from 2008 Race Tracker
  • Campaign contributions for Louisiana congressional races from
  • Louisiana Elections & Politics from The Times-Picayune newspaper
Preceded by
2006 elections
United States House elections in Louisiana
Succeeded by
2010 elections
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