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Bobby Jindal

Jindal, who lost governor's race will run for Louisiana Congress seat.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2004 20:10 IST

Bobby Jindal, who lost the Louisiana governor's race by a narrow margin in December, has announced his intention to run for the US Congress. He plans to run for the First Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. David Vitter in Louisiana.

Jindal cleared the speculation about whether he would run for the US Congress or get another Bush cabinet appointment by making his intentions clear in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his home state. "Over the past few weeks I heard from a great number of voters in the First Congressional District who have encouraged me to run for Congress."

"I have thought long and hard with my wife about the opportunities that are in front of us, and where we feel I can continue to make a positive impact for our state. That is why today I am officially announcing that I am a candidate for Congress in the First District," Jindal said.

Jindal, surrounded by his wife and two-year-old daughter, made his announcement in front of Grace King High School, his wife's alma mater. "We did very well here in the governor's race last year, but that is old news, and frankly not relevant. I take no votes and supporters for granted. I will campaign tirelessly in every corner of this district, humbly asking for votes, and offering myself as a servant to the people," Jindal said.

"I have the vision, passion and the ability to do the best job and get the job done by representing the great people of the First Congressional District."

He touched on some of the issues that would define his campaign platform but said he would be releasing a detailed plan over the coming months.

"The same issues that I discussed last year -- more jobs, higher paying jobs, more businesses and industry and more economic opportunity in Louisiana -- are still prevalent today. As Congressman, I will continue to work tirelessly on those issues so our children can grow up and find good paying jobs here, instead of moving away from their families."

Jindal also touched on other issues such as the war on terrorism, healthcare, coastal erosion and flooding, and government spending. In his campaign for governor, Jindal had hesitated to pronounce on foreign policy issues.

"The military plays such an important economic role in our state and the New Orleans area. It is important to aggressively fight the issue of our time - terrorism - by supporting President (George W.) Bush and our troops who are fighting terror abroad so we don't have to face it here at home," he said.

Having been assistant secretary of health in the Bush administration, Jindal also addressed the issue of healthcare. "The rapidly rising cost of healthcare is the main reason why millions of Americans lack health insurance today. President Bush has an aggressive plan to address rising healthcare costs and help more Americans afford insurance. I look forward to using my knowledge on health issues in Congress to work in passing President Bush's healthcare agenda," he said.

Rep. Vitter, who is vacating his House seat to make a run for the US Senate, said: "I can think of no one better than Bobby Jindal to continue the work I have started in Congress on behalf of the people of the First Congressional District. Bobby's record of success in being a problem solver and his healthcare expertise will be a great addition to Louisiana's Congressional delegation."

Also announcing their support of Jindal in his candidacy were local Louisiana political notables.

A Republican district, the First District voted heavily in favour of Bush in the 2000 presidential race giving him 66 per cent of the vote to Gore's 31 per cent. In Jindal's own gubernatorial race, he secured 67.5 per cent of the vote in this district to Democratic winner Kathleen Blanco's 33.5 per cent.

First Published: Feb 02, 2004 00:00 IST