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September 05, 2008

Louisiana primaries delayed until October

Louisiana’s Congressional primaries, originally scheduled for this Saturday, have been delayed in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav and will now be held on Oct. 4.

The new schedule could also delay the date of general elections in Louisiana until December 6. If runoffs are necessary in any of the districts — primary candidates need to win 50 percent to win the nomination — then the runoffs would be held on Election Day, pushing back the general election date a month.

The two main primary races impacted are in Louisiana’s Second and Fourth Districts. Republicans have three leading candidates vying to succeed retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.): McCrery-endorsed candidate Jeff Thompson, trucking executive Chris Gorman and physician John Fleming.

The winner will likely face a highly touted Democratic recruit Paul Carmouche, who party operatives believe has a solid chance of picking up the Republican-leaning northwest Louisiana district.

Indicted Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) is also at risk of losing his seat in a primary, facing six challengers. But given the crowded field, the ethically-challenged incumbent will likely receive enough votes to head into a runoff.