Former U.S. Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao has $120,000 in a campaign account for a challenge to Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s fall re-election bid.
The account is fueled by a $100,000 loan Cao made to his election effort, according to a newly filed campaign finance report. The remainder is in individual contributors.
Cao, a New Orleans lawyer, is a Republican.
Caldwell recently changed from Democratic to Republican Party registration — making Louisiana’s seven statewide officials from governor on down aligned with the GOP.
In a report filed Monday, Caldwell had about $480,000 in campaign cash on hand at the July 14 close of the most recent reporting period.
Cao did not return telephone messages to his law office Wednesday seeking comment. Neither did he respond to an e-mail seeking an interview.
Earlier, Cao said Caldwell has not done much to represent the people of Louisiana or the state’s interests. He pointed to lack of quick action from the Attorney General’s Office after the BP Gulf oil leak and in response to the federal moratorium on offshore drilling.
Caldwell could not be reached for comment Wednesday. His office directed calls to his campaign, and no one responded to an inquiry.
Cao beat scandal-plagued veteran U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, for the 2nd District seat in 2008.
He became the only Vietnamese-American congressman.
Cao won election in a traditionally Democratic and majority black district in the aftermath of hurricanes that displaced many Orleans area residents.
He lost a re-election bid in 2010 to Cedric Richmond, a Democratic state representative from east New Orleans.
Earlier this year, Cao formed an attorney general’s campaign committee. But he had not filed a campaign finance report reflecting any contributions or expenditures until late Tuesday.
Campaign finance reports for statewide office seekers in the Oct. 22 election were due Monday. Candidates had until midnight to electronically file the reports reflecting campaign activity from April 16 to July 14.
Cao’s report reflects activity from Jan. 1 to July 15.
Cao loaned his campaign $100,000 on July 7.