|Jefferson to seek 10th term in Congress|
by Bruce Alpert, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday June 17, 2008, 4:13 PM
Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans
WASHINGTON -- Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, announced Tuesday that he will run for a 10th term in office even as he faces a Dec. 2 political corruption trial in what he called an "overly zealous" prosecution based on "false factual allegations."
A 16-count federal indictment, filed in June 2007 "has not prevented my delivering for our district and our state," Jefferson said in a statement announcing his candidacy.
"My family and I have sworn a great oath to trust God and to fight on to vindicate ourselves and our good name," Jefferson said. "This we will do. And, in none of it, will I or they sacrifice our continued strong commitment and effective delivery of the things our people need to recover from the storm and from a bad economy."
After details of the federal investigation of Jefferson surfaced in May, 2006, following a raid of his congressional office - the first in U.S. history -- House Democrats stripped him of his position the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
He remains without a committee assignment in the 110th Congress, despite his surprisingly easy victory last December in a run-off election against State Rep. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans.
Some political analysts suggest that Jefferson will have a harder time winning re-election, given that since then a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., returned a 16-count indictment against him and the congressman's brother and political adviser, Mose Jefferson, and sister Betsy Jefferson, the Orleans Parish 4th District Assessor, were indicted on charges this month they conspired to loot more than $600,000 in taxpayer money from three charities they established to help inner-city youths.
Jefferson said he will run on his record "of effective service to the people of my district over the years and in particular over the last three years since Hurricane Katrina."
As a result of what he called his "close working relationship with members of Congress," Jefferson said the House has "repeatedly approved needed funds and legislation for our recovery."
State Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, who backed Jefferson in his 2006 re-election bid, last week announced he will run for the 2nd Congressional District seat.