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Bobby to run for Louisiana governorship

The 35-year-old Republican congressman, whose parents emigrated from India, will try to unseat Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2007 13:35 IST

US Rep Bobby Jindal, who lost his bid for governor in 2003, told supporters on Monday that he would seek the job again in this year's election in a bid to make history by becoming the first US governor with roots in India.

The 35-year-old Republican congressman, whose parents emigrated from India, will try to unseat Democratic Governor Kathleen Blanco, who has said she is running for re-election.

Blanco defeated Jindal in 2003, but she has faced criticism since hurricanes Katrina and Rita about her leadership abilities and her recovery initiatives.

"Our state, our communities, and our families have been through some very tough times. There is clearly a hunger for a new approach to governing," Jindal said in an e-mail to his supporters announcing his intentions.

A recent poll showed Jindal leading Blanco in the race.

Jindal said he does not view this year's race as a retread of the 2003 election because of the destruction wrought by the 2005 hurricanes, which he said has given Louisiana new opportunities to correct old problems in education and health care.

"The stakes are a lot higher. It's a brand new race. This isn't about looking backward. This is about looking to Louisiana's future," Jindal said in a telephone interview.

Jindal's first political campaign was for governor four years ago when then-Governor Mike Foster, a Republican who could not seek re-election because of term limits, pushed Jindal for the job.