NEW ORLEANS -- The Democrats' chances of holding Rep. Charlie Melancon's (D-La.) congressional seat improved Saturday when the Republican primary headed to a runoff.

Attorney Jeff Landry (R) was just shy of breaking 50 percent of the vote with all the precincts reporting. Former state House Speaker Hunt Downer, who was once a Democrat, took 36 percent of the vote and will join Landry in the Oct. 2 runoff.

Oilfield manager Kristian Magar finished third with 14 percent. Downer thanked Magar in his statement released late Saturday – a sign he'll target his supporters over the next month. 

"Who says one vote doesn't matter?," Downer said. "Tomorrow, we begin reaching out to those residents of South Louisiana that may not have participated today and look forward to earning the support of those who supported other candidates."

Both Landry and Downer were "On the Radar" of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Attorney Ravi Sangisetty ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Observers speculate that the 3rd district could disappear in redistricting after the 2010 Census is completed in December.