BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Democratic Party turned down eight-term U.S. Rep. William Jefferson on Saturday and endorsed state Rep. Karen Carter, one of a dozen challengers who emerged after Jefferson became the target of a federal bribery investigation.
The State Central Committee's 69-53 vote, at a special meeting to decide whom to endorse in Louisiana's open primaries Nov. 7, was the first time in recent memory that an incumbent had failed to win the state party's endorsement.
All seven of the state's congressional seats are open.
Jefferson denies the bribery allegations and has not been charged. A former Jefferson aide and a Kentucky businessman have pleaded guilty in an alleged scheme to get kickbacks for helping the businessman get contracts in Africa.