The common refrain in local political circles has been for over two years that the only way that Louisiana’s Second District GOP Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao could win re-election in his very Democratic-leaning district was for multiple credible candidates to divide the African-American vote in the general election. Long-time Orleans Sewerage and Water Board member Tommie Vassel, a political rising star in Crescent City and former Council candidate, has revealed that he will likely be a candidate in November’s election for the U.S. House of Representative. And, he will run as an Independent.
Moreover, the immediate past President of the national Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Rev. Byron Clay of Kenner–a minister who extensive political connections amongst the Black Clergy–is being urged by many of the liturgical colleagues to run for Congress against Cao as well–as an Independent. Should he stand, Clay would join Vassel and the likely Democratic candidate, State Representative Cedric Richmond, in pitting three prominent African-American challengers against the sitting 2nd District Republican Representative. Â Even in a highly Democratic, Black Majority Congressional seat like the New Orleans, South Kenner, and West Bank Jefferson district, two Independents dividing the vote with the Democratic contender might be enough to allow a Republican, elected in what many view was a political fluke, to win a second term.
Still Rep. Cao faces an uphill battle, the Cook Partisan Voting Index (CPVI) for LA-2 is D+25.