Jindal to Run Again to Lead Louisiana

Article excerpt

Byline: Audrey Hudson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal yesterday declared his candidacy for the Louisiana governorship but vowed to delay campaigning until after the April conclusion of the state's legislative session to avoid politicizing Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts.

Mr. Jindal, who lost to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco in 2003, has a significant edge in early polling over Mrs. Blanco, a Democrat who has drawn criticism for her handling of the response to Katrina.

"Politics has a way of impeding progress, and Louisiana cannot afford to lose another second," Mr. Jindal wrote in his e-mail announcement sent to supporters.

"The upcoming state legislative session this spring is vital. We cannot afford failure, and the surest way to attain failure is to politicize every initiative and decision."

Mr. Jindal, whose parents emigrated from India, was elected to Congress at age 33 in 2004. He served as secretary of the state Health and Hospitals Department and in the Bush administration as an assistant secretary in the Health and Human Services Department in 2001.

A poll by the Southern Media and Opinion Research shows Mrs. Blanco's support among voters is 35 percent, compared with 59 percent for Mr. Jindal. Mrs. Blanco defeated Mr. Jindal by four percentage points in 2003. …