so long, congressman cao

Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao made history two years ago when he became the first Vietnamese American elected to Congress, becoming the unlikely winner in New Orleans' heavily Democratic 2nd Congressional District. Alas, after only one term, he has been ousted by state Rep. Cedric Richmond: Cedric Richmond wins 2nd District House race; Joseph Cao concedes.

At about 9:30 p.m., Cao greeted supporters gathered at the New Orleans Marriott at the Convention Center and gave a brief concession speech after calling Richmond, offering his congratulations and promising a smooth transition.

Cao said he understood that it sometimes took courage for people to stand by him in the hotly contested campaign. "I know how tough it is to take a public position against a sitting president, mayor, senator and the newspapers," he said.

Cao said most observers had never liked his chances the first time he was elected, or this time. Maybe, he said, "it was too much to ask a majority-Democratic district to send a Republican back ... no matter how strong his record of or honest his service. I don't know what more I could have done to win this election. I'll leave that for others."

"Every candidate makes mistakes. I know I made mine. But I wouldn't spend any time wondering about what might have been. I am proud of what was," he said.
Cao had always been a longshot, but somehow managed to snatch his seat from embattled nine-term incumbent William Jefferson, who at the time was awaiting trial on corruption charges. It's been an uphill climb ever since: Louisiana's Anh 'Joseph' Cao, First Vietnamese-American in Congress, a Rare GOP Loss.

In Tuesday's election, Richmond soundly defeated Cao with a whopping 64 percent to 33 percent. Of course, it helps to have President Obama's endorsement: Cedric Richmond's victory one of few bright spots for Democrats.

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