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September 22, 2019

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Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

On January 12, 2004, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco became the first woman to serve as governor of Louisiana. In her long, distinguished career, Governor Blanco has served the people with a vision of creating a new Louisiana, filled with hope and opportunity for all citizens.

As Governor, her top priorities include: providing affordable, accessible healthcare, improving the state's education system, and creating a strong and vibrant economy.

In her inaugural address, Governor Blanco outlined her priorities as governor: "We face important challenges in this new century: expanding our economy and creating quality jobs; building an effective health care system; improving our roads and highways; rebuilding our coastline; protecting our farmers; and ensuring that all our citizens, no matter their age, have superior educational opportunities."

Governor Blanco believes that Louisiana's challenges can only be met "if we have the courage and wisdom to pursue a new and different path." That, she says, means striking "a hopeful chord -- one that unites our people in lifting up all Louisiana families; one that cherishes our children, protects our environment, and creates new economic opportunity for all our citizens."

Governor and Mr. Blanco
Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
 and her husband Raymond

Before serving in the state's top office, Governor Blanco completed two terms as Lieutenant Governor. As the state's second-highest official, she supervised the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Under her leadership, tourism in Louisiana increased by 41 percent. This growth led to a $2.5 billion increase in the tourism industry's economic contribution to the state and the creation of 121,000 new tourism-related jobs.

First elected lieutenant governor in 1995, Governor Blanco was overwhelmingly re-elected to her second term in 1999, winning 80 percent of the vote.

Governor Blanco began her career as a public servant in 1984, when she became the first woman ever elected to represent the people of Lafayette in the state Legislature. Five years later she was elected to the Public Service Commission, where she became the first woman to serve as a Commissioner and, later, as the first woman to chair the Commission (1993-94).

Before joining the public sector, Governor Blanco taught at Breaux Bridge High School, a public school in Southwest Louisiana, not far from the community of Coteau, where she was born. She received a B.S. degree in Business Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and her husband Raymond have been married since 1964. They are the parents of six children and the proud grandparents of eight. 


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