The William Jefferson Chronicles

Money runs low in Jefferson-Moreno race
11:19 PM CDT on Friday, October 31, 2008

Susan Edwards / Eyewitness News

Congressman William Jefferson and opponent Helena Moreno were happy to make the cut in the October 4 primary. But since then, both sides have been surprisingly silent, as they prepare to face off again during the general election, each seeking to capture the vote for the Democratic ticket.

Political analysts noticed television advertisements have dropped off, and Eyewitness News has discovered funding has been tough for both sides.

According to finance reports from the Federal Election Commission through mid-October, the Moreno campaign has raised more than $262,000, but spent more than $227,000.

The Jefferson campaign has raised more than $793,000, but has spent more than $1 million dollars, leaving him more than $256,000 in debt.

Eyewitness News political analyst Clancy DuBos said the silence is a sign for the Moreno campaign.

"It tells me she's run out of money, run out of steam or both," said DuBos.

There has been little poll information focusing on this race, although Jefferson is projected to get 58 percent of the vote by one University of New Orleans professor, based on how votes were cast October.

Moreno disputes those predictions, and said she has been focusing on a grassroots campaign--going to fall festivals, universities and neighborhoods.

She said that will give her an edge November 4, despite her challenges.

"The bottom line, yes, funding has been difficult, but we have a major push happening right now. We've got our tv commercials back up, we have a radio campaign going on right now but it's our groundwork that's really where we're moving at this moment and we're going to get it done."

Moreno also points to young voters, saying 16,000 of them will cast a ballot for the first time November 4.

"I think a lot of people have underestimated the younger voters. I think they are going to come out big time for Barack Obama and big time for me as well," she said.

Eyewitness News requested an interview with William Jefferson, or someone with his campaign. They originally told us they would call us back with arrangements, but they never did.

As for Moreno, she said the next four days will be spent continuing her grassroots effort, and she hopes for a surprise victory Nov. 4.

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