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Jindal Wins La. Governor'S Race

This story was written by Ginger Gibson, The Daily Reveille
Bobby Jindal became the nation's first Indian-American governor when he garnered 54 percent of the vote and was elected head of the state of Louisiana Saturday.

The 36-year-old will be the youngest governor in the country and defeated 11 opponents to win the office and avoid a Nov. 17 runoff. He will officially take office in January.

In a distant second, Democrat Walter Boasso received 17 percent of the total vote, followed by Independent John Georges with 14 percent and Democrat Foster Campbell, who received 12 percent. The remaining candidates received less than 1 percent of the vote.

"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," Jindal said at his victory speech, according to The Associated Press.

Democrat Buddy Caldwell and Republican Royal Alexander will face off for the office of attorney general in the runoff. The pair knocked out incumbent Charles Foti Jr., who was widely criticized for his decision to arrest a doctor and two nurses he accused of murdering a patient in the days after Hurricane Katrina. Caldwell received 36 percent of the vote, followed by Alexander who received 32 percent, edging past Foti into the runoff by 6,081 votes.

The office of Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry will be determined in a runoff. Incumbent Democrat Bob Odom received 41 percent of the votes and about 10,072 ballots more than Republican Mike Strain, who will also be in the runoff.

For regional offices, a runoff will be held between Democrats Jason DeCuir and Yvonne Dorsey for the Senate District 14 seat, the district that includes LSU, Southern University and the surrounding areas. Dorsey received 48 percent, and DeCuir was in second with 42 percent.

Democrats Lori Burgess and Patricia Smith will have a runoff for the 67th District House seat, which includes campus. Burgess received 39 percent, and Smith received 36 percent.

There will be a runoff to elect a sheriff for East Baton Rouge Parish between Greg Phares and Sid Gautreaux. Republican Phares, who took over the office when the previous sheriff resigned earlier this year, received 47 percent, and Democrat Gautreaux received 37 percent.

Three other candidates for statewide offices, all incumbents, received the votes necessary to retain their office and avoid a Nov. 17 runoff.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu received 57 percent of the vote. He defeated challengers Republicans Sammy Kershaw, a country music singer who received 30 percent of the vote, and Gary Beard, who received 11 percent of the vote.

Republican Secretary of State Jay Dardenne was related with 63 percent of the vote, after serving a partial term that he won this past year after the office was vacated. His closest challenger, Democrat R. Wooley, received 31 percent.

Republican Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon received 51 percent of the vote to resecure his office that he initially took this past year when he won election to fill a partial term. His closest competitor Democrat Jim Crowley received 36 percent of the vote.

The state electorate approved three of the proposed constitutional amendments and failed one. The approved amendments prohibit cutting state salary supplements for full-time police officers and firefighters, prohibit the legislature from adding benefits for members or state employees without having a means to fund the increase and creates benefit plans for police officers and firefighters. The amendment that would exempt jewelry sold on consignment from property tax failed.

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© 2007 The Daily Reveille via U-WIRE