William Jefferson defeated

Louisiana voters have done what the House leadership would not, force William Jefferson from office:

Indicted U.S. Rep. William Jefferson suffered what may be the final blow of his storied political career in the most improbable way Saturday, when an untested Republican opponent took advantage of Louisiana’s new federal voting rules — and an election delay caused by Hurricane Gustav — to unseat the nine-term Democrat.

With the upset victory, Anh “Joseph” Cao, a eastern New Orleans attorney who fled war-ravaged Saigon as a child, becomes the first Vietnamese-American in Congress. He will represent a district that was specifically drawn to give African-Americans an electoral advantage and one in which two of every three voters are registered Democrats. . .

Though Jefferson will pack up his Capitol Hill office, he will remain in the news: Originally scheduled to begin last week, his trial is likely to start in early 2009.

Also in the cross-hairs of federal prosecutors are Jefferson siblings Betty Jefferson, the Orleans Parish 4th District Assessor, and political consultant Mose Jefferson, who were indicted last year on charges that they conspired to loot more than $600,000 in taxpayer money from three charities.

In a separate case, Mose Jefferson was indicted on charges that he bribed the former president of the Orleans Parish School Board.

(Via the Corner.)

UPDATE: Power Line notes that Democrats and labor unions made substantial contributions to Jefferson’s re-election campaign.

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