Image: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and his wife, Supriya, greet supporters Saturday during his re-election victory party at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge
Michael Democker  /  The Times-Picayune via AP
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and his wife, Supriya, greet supporters Saturday during his re-election victory party at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge.
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updated 10/23/2011 12:19:06 AM ET 2011-10-23T04:19:06

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Saturday easily coasted to a second term, winning in a landslide election after failing to attract any well-known or deep-pocketed opposition.

The 40-year-old Republican overwhelmed nine competitors in the open primary, where a candidate wins the race outright if he or she receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

"I will use every day, every hour of these next four years to make Louisiana the very best that we can be. I don't believe in resting on our past accomplishments. I don't believe in taking time off," Jindal told a packed hotel ballroom of supporters in Baton Rouge.

Jindal piled up $15 million in campaign cash from around the nation and attracted no Democratic challengers with statewide name recognition or fundraising heft. He's had consistently high approval ratings since taking office in 2008.

His win comes amid the virtual collapse of the Democratic Party's clout in the state. In the current term, Republicans have gained control of all seven statewide elected posts and both chambers of the legislature.

The first Indian-American governor in the United States, Jindal is considered by some a possible presidential contender in the future. He recently published a book and regularly appears on national news shows, but he ruled out a 2012 run.

Still, his brand of conservatism and refusal to raise taxes has resonated outside the state.

The race that received more attention in Louisiana was the one for lieutenant governor, because the officeholder is next in line should Jindal step down because of his national political ambitions.

Incumbent Jay Dardenne, who took office after a special election last year, faces off against Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. Like Jindal, Nungesser was a vocal critic of the federal response to the massive Gulf oil spill.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Jindal: Voters aren’t looking for ‘slickest’ candidate

  1. Transcript of: Jindal: Voters aren’t looking for ‘slickest’ candidate

    MR. GREGORY: Let's talk about Governor Perry . You've endorsed him. He came into this campaign with great expectations, and we've seen a pretty stunning fall in the polls. The debate performances have not helped. His own wife, Anita Perry , spoke this week about how difficult it's been.

    MS. ANITA PERRY: ...we have been brutalized and eaten up and chewed up in the press.

    MR. GREGORY: And she went on to say brutalized by GOP rivals. What's gone wrong here for him?

    GOV. JINDAL: Well, a couple of things. Presidential campaigns are tough. The good thing is I know Rick and Anita well. I know they're up to this, that he's been governor of Texas for nearly 11 years now. During that time, they've surpassed New York to become the second-largest economy. Let me tell you one of the reasons I'm, I'm endorsing Rick . I've been -- as governor of a neighboring state , we've worked together through crises, through economic recessions, we've competed with each other for jobs. Let me tell you just a quick story

    after Gustav. We were down in New Orleans , the......the federal government didn't -- they promised didn't arrive in time. We had to evacuate patients out of harm's way immediately. We called for help. Literally, the airspace was about to be closed. The first seven planes that came, came from the Texas Air National Guard . Rick Perry 's made tough decisions in crises. He's made emergency, he's made executive level decisions. I know his heart. He is, he is a leader. We now have a president who's a great speaker. We don't need just a great debater or a great speaker. We need somebody with executive branch experience. Rick Perry 's got that.

    MR. GREGORY: But there's, there's got to be some reason to explain his inability to get this message out that Governor Jindal 's talking about. How do you see it?

    FMR. GOV. PAWLENTY: Well, I think when you're running for president, you need somebody who's going to make sure that they have the steadiness, the, the confidence, the knowledge, the capability to deliver every time. You see in Mitt Romney that kind of steady, consistent, strong conservative performance. And I think people are looking at these debates and his other appearances and saying...

    MR. GREGORY: So what is the distinction then? What's the distinction then between Governor Romney and Governor Perry ?

    FMR. GOV. PAWLENTY: Well, there's a number of distinctions. Each candidate has their own background, their own story, their own style, their own tempo, their own views in the way that they present themselves.

    MR. GREGORY: But this is......governor.

    FMR. GOV. PAWLENTY: No, but I think...

    MR. GREGORY: I mean, you know, your guys want to win the nomination here, and there's 15 million bucks that Governor Perry 's going to start throwing at Governor Romney .

    FMR. GOV. PAWLENTY: David , I think -- here's the bottom line.

    MR. GREGORY: So what's the distinction?

    FMR. GOV. PAWLENTY: I think the bottom line is, Republicans are watching these debates, the country is watching this unfold and they're looking at Mitt Romney and they're saying, 'That's a person who can be president and do the job.'

    MR. GREGORY: There's actually -- Governor Christie who endorsed Mitt Romney , seemed to have quite a slap at Rick Perry when he endorsed him this week. And I want to play that sound and have your reaction to it.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ): The biggest reason why I want to support Governor Romney is because I believe he's the best person to be able to articulate Republican values and defeat Barack Obama in November of 2012 . ... This is not someone who just is deciding to run for president off the back of an envelope, who just wandered into it and said, "Hey, this seems like a good idea, let's see how it goes." This is somebody who has thought and listened and planned for a good long period of time about what he would do if he was given the honor of being president of the United States and the responsibility of being president of the United States .

    MR. GREGORY: Is that an issue here for Governor Perry ? He made a decision to get in, he's got tremendous experience, governor of Texas and as a campaigner; and yet, he doesn't seem to quite have it together in terms of a message, his voice, his performance when it comes to running of the White House .

    GOV. JINDAL: Look, I think this is going to be a long campaign. There'll be plenty of speeches, debates. There'll be polls going up and down. The most important thing Rick has is his track record. He's cut taxes 65 times, $14 billion in the state of Texas , one of the five lowest tax states , according to the Tax Foundation . Club for Growth says one of the best states when it comes to regulatory environment. The reality is seven years in a row, CEO magazine, says it's the business-friendliest state . You've got a state where he can show what he has done during tough times, during good times, to bring in jobs. First governor in Texas history to cut general government spending since World War II . He, he has done all of that while tackling tort reform, creating jobs. I think that what the American people , Republican primary voters are looking for is not necessarily the slickest debater, the best speaker. What they're looking for is a proven track record. We've got a president we elected who hadn't run anything other than his campaign before he got elected president of the United States . I think he is in way over his head. As a result, we have seen the, the unemployment has gone up, America 's competitive ranking has gone down. We used to be number one, now we're number five in the world. We've seen our credit rating downgraded for the first time . So I think voters are going to look past a couple of debates, I think they're going to look past a couple of polls, I think they're going to look past a couple of speeches. What they're going to say is who's got the track record, who's got the executive branch experience. Rick Perry 's got that.

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