Last modified on July 15, 2022, at 15:53

Joseph Cao

Joseph Cao
U.S. Representative from Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District
From: January 3, 2009 - January 3, 2011
Predecessor William J. Jefferson
Successor Cedric Richmond
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Hieu "Kate" Hoang
Religion Roman Catholicism

Anh "Joseph" Quang Cao (pronounced Gow), born March 13, 1967 (age 42) in Saigon, Vietnam, was a Republican U.S Representative from Louisiana's 2nd congressional district, representing almost all of the city of New Orleans and some of its suburbs. Cao escaped to America with two of his siblings after his father was imprisoned by Communists at a concentration camp in Vietnam. He was reunited with his family years later. Cao came to New Orleans in 1992 and went on to earn a master's degree in philosophy from New York's Fordham University. He then spent a career in the legal practice, and organized legal advice to civic groups following Hurricane Katrina.

A Catholic, Cao called abortion "a par with slavery." [1]

2008 Election

In December 2008, Cao defeated nine-term incumbent Congressman William J. Jefferson, who had been indicted on corruption charges after the FBI found $90,000 in his home freezer, part of an alleged $400,000 in bribery money. Cao's victory was considered all the more significant, in that he is a Republican Congressman representing one of the most heavily Democratic districts in the county. Additionally, he is the first Vietnamese American to serve in Congress. House Minority Leader John Boehner said that "the future is Cao."

U.S. House

Congressman Cao served on the Homeland Security Committee, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He is also a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Cao has voted with Republicans 79.6% of the time,[2] voting against the $787 billion economic stimulus package and against cap and trade climate legislation. However, he was the lone Republican who voted for Democratic healthcare legislation, saying that he received a commitment from President Obama to help his district, which was still devastated from Hurricane Katrina.[3] He then voted against the final passage of the bill. Cao also endorsed Obama's decision to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

On January 3, 2013, the Public Broadcasting Service aired the documentary "Mr. Cao Goes to Washington" based on the former congressman's brief tenure in Washington.

Cao was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the United States Senate in the primary election held on November 8, 2016. The position was vacated by the two-term incumbent, David Vitter. Victory went to state Treasurer John Neely Kennedy.

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