GOP Appears to Hold McCrery Seat

Posted December 6, 2008 at 10:28pm

Updated: Dec. 7, 2 p.m. In a campaign that drew heavy spending by both national parties, Republican John Fleming appears to have staved off a vigorous challenge from Democrat Paul Carmouche to keep Louisiana’s 4th district seat in GOP hands Saturday. With all 640 precincts in the Shreveport-based 4th district reporting, Fleming led Carmouche by 356 votes. Each candidate took about 48 percent of the vote, with two independent candidates splitting the rest. The Associated Press and local media have yet to declare a victor in the race to replace retiring Rep. Jim McCrery (R). Bert Kaufman, a spokesman for Carmouche, said the Democrat will not concede until the election is certified. Fleming is moving ahead under the assumption he’s won the seat. Since Saturday night he has been in discussions with Republican leadership officials about committee assignments. One National Republican Congressional Committee official said Sunday that looking at historical data it’s “highly unlikely” there will be enough provisional ballots to overturn the result. The state’s certification process is expected to be completed Tuesday or Wednesday and Kaufman said Sunday that the Carmouche campaign will assess its options at that point. Fleming, a physician who spent about $1 million of his personal fortune to secure his party’s nomination, emerged from the primary after defeating the man the national party had originally backed for the seat as well as another multimillionaire. But national Republicans moved quickly to support Fleming in the abbreviated general election and the NRCC spent the last month launching a vigorous attack on Carmouche’s long record as Caddo Parish district attorney. In the end those efforts and the district’s strong conservative bent may have kept Republicans from losing one more seat in what has been a very good cycle for Democrats nationally.