Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, opposed by the White House, the national Republican establishment and virtually every political leader in his district, won election Saturday to the Louisiana House of Representatives.

"We won. It's a new day for Louisiana. It's a new day for the country," exclaimed Duke, who had waited at the Jefferson Parish courthouse for the results. He headed immediately to his election night headquarters where several hundred people were celebrating.With all 35 precincts counted, including one for absentee ballots, Duke won with 8,456 votes, or 51 percent of the total, to opponent John Treen's 8,232. The 224-vote margin of victory was far closer than Duke had predicted.

The victory did not mark the end of Duke's struggle, however. Before the election, Louisiana House sources said there would be a move to prevent Duke from taking his seat if he won.