Republican Representative Bobby Jindal has become the first non-white elected governor in Louisiana since reconstruction, easily beating 11 opponents to garner a majority in the state's open primary election:
Jindal, a 36-year-old Republican, will be the nation's youngest governor. He had 53 percent with 625,036 votes with about 92 percent of the vote tallied. It was more than enough to win Saturday's election outright and avoid a Nov. 17 runoff. Jindal, a rising star in the GOP firmament, lost his initial attempt at the governorship 4 years ago, being defeated by Kathleen Blanco. However, the state's inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina was widely blamed on the Democrat and she declined to run for another term, leaving the field open for Jindal.
"My mom and dad came to this country in pursuit of the American dream. And guess what happened. They found the American dream to be alive and well right here in Louisiana," he said to cheers and applause at his victory party.
Louisiana appears to be bucking the national trends which point to a Democratic year in 2008. But the state may be a special case since widespread corruption by Democrats has angered many voters who may vote Republican just to throw the crooks out.
Clarice Feldman adds:
Despite all the biased reporting about Hurricane Katrina, the residents of Louisiana have seemed to figure out that the Governor Blanco and Mayor Nagin bore the lion's share of the blame and have punished their party for their incompetence.