Pro-life Groups, Boehner Hail Victory of Louisiana Pro-lifer to Congress

By Matt Hadro | December 9, 2008 | 7:31 PM EST

Republican Anh 'Joseph' Cao, with his daughter Sophia Cao, 5, and his wife Kate Cao, talks to reporters after church in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008. (AP photo)

( - Pro-life groups and House Republican leadership have something in common to cheer about -- Vietnamese-American Anh “Joseph” Cao’s upset victory over incumbent Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) in Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district in New Orleans.

National Right to Life called Cao’s victory a “pro-life win” and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, agreed. 

“It took an outspoken pro-lifer, a compelling story, and a thirst for real leadership to finally oust a man whose scandals were an embarrassment to the U.S. House,” Perkins said in a news release. “In Cao, the city [New Orleans] finally has a chance to move forward.”
Perkins added: “We applaud his courageous campaign and look forward to working with him in his defense of life.”
In a vote that was delayed by Hurricane Gustav and finally conducted on Dec. 6, voters in the normally Democratic district elected Republican Cao by a margin of 49.6 percent to 46.8 percent.
Cao, the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper that “the only thing I am certain of is that I am anti-abortion.”
Perhaps the most notable endorsement of Cao’s victory came from House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Oh.). Boehner sent a memo Sunday to House Republicans titled “The Future is Cao.”
Citing Cao’s stand against corruption, Boehner called Cao’s election “a symbol of what can be achieved when we think big, present a positive alternative, and work aggressively to earn the trust of the American people.”
Jefferson, whom The New York Times called “the once-untouchable incumbent,” served nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before he was charged with money laundering and bribery after the FBI found $90,000 stored in his freezer in 2005.