Jindal wins re-election as Louisiana governor

NEW ORLEANS Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:57am EDT

1 of 3. Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) speaks during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 17, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Sean Gardner

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NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, won re-election on Saturday as voters largely ignored his nine poorly funded challengers.

"You've chosen to give me another four years as your governor," he told supporters at his Baton Rouge campaign headquarters less than an hour after polls closed. "We've got a lot more work to do over these next four years."

With more than 99 percent of precincts reporting, Jindal carried 66 percent of the vote with his nearest challenger, Democratic school teacher Tara Hollis, taking 18 percent. None of the remaining eight candidates moved out of single digits.

Jindal, whose vote count allowed him to bypass a November runoff, has been viewed as a potential vice presidential contender. But he has said he would serve out his term as governor if re-elected.

"I will use every day, every hour of these next four years to make Louisiana the best it can be," he said.

Once seen as a possible presidential contender himself, Jindal has since endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for the Republican nomination.

"Jindal doesn't aim low," said Bernie Pinsonat, a Baton Rouge political analyst and pollster. "I don't think anybody in Louisiana thinks that Bobby Jindal doesn't have ambitions to be president," he said.

Pinsonat said the key to what Jindal did next was the 2012 presidential election. "If (Democrat) Barack Obama is re-elected, Jindal will throw himself 100 percent into running for president in 2016," Pinsonat said.

The possibility that Jindal, 40, will not serve out his full second term contributed to a hotly contested race for Louisiana's lieutenant governor seat.

Secretary of State Jay Dardenne carried 53 percent of the vote against 47 percent for Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser in that race.

Louisiana's open primary system pits candidates of all parties against one another on one ballot. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the highest contenders meet in a runoff election.

It was Jindal's third race for governor. He lost in 2003 to Democrat Kathleen Blanco, who won a runoff with 51 percent of the vote. In 2007, he beat 12 other candidates and won 54 percent of the vote without a runoff.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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Comments (1)
PessimistNJ wrote:
Funny for all the complaints that the republican party and george bush took over katrina and louisiana being a heavy working class state. That they vote to re-elect a republican governor. So for all the posturing that the far left dose about the evils of the republican party is really just blind obsession, or truth be told prejudism. Ironic because the far left touts they are all encompassing. In reality they are just as blindly obtuse as the far right. Either end of the spectrum have caused more damage to this country than either side will ever admit..

Oct 23, 2011 8:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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