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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Republican Bobby Jindal, 36, Elected as Louisiana Governor

I see some buzz going on in the blogosphere about Bobby Jindal's being elected Governor of Louisiana, with 54% of the votes after all precincts were counted.

The next highest was Democrat Walter J. Boasso at 18%.

Republican Bobby Jindal won election as Louisiana governor Saturday, setting a string of firsts and leaving no doubt that the state's voters strongly desire new leadership two years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Jindal, 36, will be the nation's youngest sitting governor. The son of Indian immigrants, he will also be the first Indian American governor in U.S. history, and the first nonwhite to hold the job in Louisiana since Reconstruction.

The election of Jindal, who is a conservative, underscores the fast-fading fortunes of the Democratic Party in Louisiana after the hurricanes.

Under Louisiana's wide-open "jungle primary" format, Jindal had a chance Saturday to win the race outright if he could capture more than half the votes in a field of 12 candidates.

He did. With nearly all precincts counted, he held 54% of the vote.

From the AP:

The Oxford-educated Jindal had lost the governor's race four years ago to Gov. Kathleen Blanco. He won a congressional seat in conservative suburban New Orleans a year later but was widely believed to have his eye on the governor's mansion.

Blanco opted not to run for re-election after she was widely blamed for the state's slow response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

"My administration has begun readying for this change and we look forward to helping with a smooth transition," she said in a prepared statement. "I want to thank the people of Louisiana for the past four years, though there is still much work to do in my last few months as your governor."

Jindal, who takes office in January, pledged to fight corruption and rid the state of those "feeding at the public trough," revisiting a campaign theme.

"They can either go quietly or they can go loudly, but either way, they will go," he said, adding that he would call the Legislature into special session to address ethics reform.

Washington Post has the money quote from Jindal:

On the campaign trail, his origins often aroused curiosity and comment. But Jindal sometimes deflected related questions.

"People want to make everything about race," he said during one of the debates. "The only colors that matter here are red, white and blue."

Jindal is the poster boy for the American dream, he is the American born son of Indian immigrants and his parents moved from New Delhi to Baton Rouge.

Captain Ed points out that even though the Democrats tried, unsuccessfully to blame George Bush for the failures after hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana votes knew better and understood it was the states own Government that failed them miserably.

Red State's, Corbusier, who grew up in Louisiana has an excellent essay on this.

With no way to avoid the wall-to-wall coverage of politics, I would learn what the Democratic party could do to a charming and beautiful state. I would witness how it had worked hard in forging a culture of irresponsibility and pride in mediocrity. If there was ever a single experience that helped shift my views to the right, growing up in Louisiana was it.

Make sure you read his whole piece....

Politico points out that Louisiana has just moved itself further into the Republican camp.... is this a sneak preview into things to come as we witness bad decisions, defeatists attitudes and deliberate partisan fights picked by the Democratically controlled houses, fights that they continue to lose?

In electing Bobby Jindal governor, Louisiana moved itself further into the Republican camp while joining a small group of states with minority or female chief executives.

Jindal, a 36-year-old Indian-American Republican congressman with sterling academic and policy credentials, won the state’s unique all-party primary on Saturday, avoiding a runoff in November.

And while Louisiana has periodically elected Republican governors since the late 1970s, when Jindal takes office in January it will mark the first time since Reconstruction that a majority of the state’s top three statewide officials belong to the GOP.

All in all, congratulations to Bobby Jindal for a job well done. Congratulations to Louisiana for making a statement about wanting change.