With the Georgia Senate runoff now over, the political world has cast its gaze westward to Louisianas Shreveport-based 4th district for the final competitive Congressional race of the 2008 cycle.
In the northwestern district represented by retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R), physician John Fleming (R) is battling Caddo Parish District Attorney Paul Carmouche (D) in a race that has drawn heavy spending by both national parties. As of Tuesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had poured more than $1.13 million in independent expenditures into the contest while the National Republican Congressional Committee has spent nearly $850,000.
On Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced he would be traveling to the district to host a labor event for Carmouche. The Hoyer announcement comes just days after Carmouche unveiled a new radio ad featuring President-elect Barack Obama and amid multiple campaign events with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Louisianas Lt. Gov Mitch Landrieu (D). In addition to rallying the Democratic base for what is expected to be a low-turnout affair, Democratic insiders hope Obamas radio ad will help motivate the districts 33 percent black population to go to the polls on Saturday. Louisiana insiders agree the black turnout will be key if Democrats have any chance of moving the seat into their column this weekend.
For his part, Fleming has turned to popular Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Members of the states House delegation for star power in the final days of the campaign. Fleming may not have been the partys first choice in the race (McCrery and Republican House leaders got behind a candidate who finished third in the GOP primary), but the party has rallied to Fleming in hopes of keeping Democrats from gaining any more ground in the final battle of the 2008 cycle.
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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