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Louisiana leaders talk of Kathleen Blanco’s faith, integrity

August 18, 2019
FILE - In this June 11, 2009, file photo, former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco address a news conference as Gov. Bobby Jindal looks on at the state capitol in Baton Rouge, La. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office confirmed former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who became the state’s first female elected governor, died Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. She was 76. (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)
FILE - In this June 11, 2009, file photo, former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco address a news conference as Gov. Bobby Jindal looks on at the state capitol in Baton Rouge, La. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office confirmed former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who became the state’s first female elected governor, died Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. She was 76. (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s current and former elected officials offered tributes Sunday to Kathleen Blanco. The Democratic former governor died at the age of 76 after a yearslong struggle with cancer. Here are some of the reactions to her death:

GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS:

“Serving as this state’s first female governor, Kathleen was a trailblazer and broke many barriers, leading the way for others to follow. She stands among the giants who have helped shaped Louisiana’s history. Kathleen loved this state and our people and was a shining example of what can be accomplished by hard work and determination.

She led Louisiana through one of our darkest hours, when hurricanes and the failure of the federal levee system devastated much of our state. I hope history will remember Gov. Blanco as a tireless advocate for Louisiana, who fought fiercely for our state to rebuild following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Louisianans owe a debt of gratitude to Gov. Blanco, who always put the people of our state first, fighting to improve the quality of life for our families and children, championing better educational opportunities for all students at every level and building a stronger Louisiana.”

FORMER GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:

“Kathleen loved Louisiana and served the state for decades. She faced every struggle, including her last, with good cheer and a strong will. She will be missed.”

U.S. SEN. BILL CASSIDY:

“Gov. Blanco conducted herself with class and grace. She loved and served Louisiana. She will be missed.”

U.S. SEN. JOHN KENNEDY:

“Kathleen was a dedicated public servant and a loving mother, daughter and wife. She led a remarkable life but wasn’t immune to tragedy. She handled those tragedies with tremendous courage and unwavering faith. True faith makes you fearless, and that faith was Kathleen’s solace and strength. Louisiana has suffered a tremendous loss with her passing.”

U.S. REP. STEVE SCALISE:

“I am saddened to hear of Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s passing. She served our state with honor and integrity during an incredibly challenging period as Louisiana recovered from both hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Kathleen dedicated her entire life to public service and will be remembered as someone who cared deeply for Louisiana, her people, and our culture.”

LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR KAREN CARTER PETERSON:

“Gov. Blanco was a trailblazer — she destroyed glass ceilings, fiercely defended the most vulnerable, and was a true Louisianan at heart who loved her home. The policies she fought for and the way she treated those around her reflected her values, morals and love for Louisiana in every way. Whether it was rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or fighting to invest in our children’s education, she showed unwavering resolve in the face of our state’s biggest struggles.”

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