The state of Louisiana has been making history lately by electing their latest congressman this past weekend, Republican attorney Anh “Joseph” Cao. Cao becomes the first Vietnamese American to be elected into Congress, ousting indicted ten-term Democratic U.S. Rep. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson from his 2nd Congressional District seat, which includes most of New Orleans. Cao won 50 percent of the vote to Jefferson’s 47 percent:
“The victory for a 41-year-old immigration attorney who is the child of Vietnam War refugees was greeted with amazement and drew parallels to last year’s election of Gov. Bobby Jindal, an Indian-American Republican … Cao was buoyed by low turnout, a lackluster campaign by Jefferson, strong third-party candidates and the election being postponed a month by Hurricane Gustav. State and national Republicans seized on the race with a well-funded and effective campaign … Jefferson faced some of the most direct attacks since 2005, when a wide-reaching corruption probe against him was made public and FBI agents found $90,000 in alleged bribe payments in his freezer. He currently faces trial on charges of money laundering, racketeering and bribery, but no date has been set.”
I’m a Democrat, but Cao seems to be a moderate Republican, and I’m certainly not for indicted Congressmen or Senators to be re-elected — Democrat, Republican or independent (and amazed that the Begich-Stevens Senate election in Alaska was so close.) Many Vietnamese refugees relocated to the New Orleans area after the Vietnam War, but given the fact that San Jose and
Los Angeles Garden Grove Orange County, California have the largest Vietnamese American communities in the United States, it’s very surprising to see Louisiana elect the first Vietnamese American into Congress. Maybe America is becoming more of a color blind society than I had expected.