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Jindal easily wins 2nd term as Louisiana governor

By Ashley Killough , CNN
updated 2:01 AM EDT, Sun October 23, 2011
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • His next closest competitor gets 18% of the vote
  • The state holds a nonpartisan blanket primary
  • He tells Louisianans: "I will give you my all"
  • He pledges to "never coast" as long as he is the state's chief executive

(CNN) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was re-elected to a second term Saturday, winning in a landslide with little opposition from nine other candidates.

Jindal, who was widely favored to win, had 66% of the vote with 98% precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State.

His next closest competitor, Democrat Tara Hollis, got about 18% of the vote. The eight other candidates pulled in low single digits.

"You've chosen me to be your governor," Jindal said at his campaign headquarters in Baton Rouge. "I'm truly humbled and honored by the trust and privilege you've bestowed upon me."

Pledging to "never coast" as long as he remains the state's chief executive, Jindal added: "I will give you my all."

The state holds a nonpartisan blanket primary, meaning both political parties run in the same contest and if a candidate wins 50% or more of the vote, then he or she wins the race.

If Jindal had failed to get a majority, he would have gone head-to-head with the second place candidate in the gubernatorial general on Nov. 19.

The governor, who won his first term in 2007 with 54% of the vote, faced little opposition this time around.

Early in his first term, Jindal was widely considered a rising GOP star. Speculation about his potential 2012 presidential run started almost as soon as President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.

The governor was a vocal critic of the president's stimulus package and made headlines when he pledged to refuse any funds from the bill for Louisiana.

But almost as quickly as he rose to GOP fame, he fell back into the shadows after making the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address in 2009.

Many conservatives expected the speech to be a launch pad for the governor, but he earned bad reviews from both parties for his performance.

Critics said his delivery was over-coached, amateurish and relied too heavily on Hurricane Katrina references.

Jindal made somewhat of a political comeback in 2010 after receiving praise for his handling of the BP oil spill off the Gulf Coast.

But he repeatedly denied any intention to run for president this year and now backs Texas Gov. Rick Perry for the GOP presidential nomination.

At age 36, Jindal was the youngest U.S. governor when elected in 2007, and the first Indian-American governor.

He gained wide praise for his leadership during Hurricane Gustav in 2008, when he ordered a mandatory evacuation and called more than 3,000 National Guard troops into the state.

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