(Reuters) – Trailblazing former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, whose tenure was dominated by the trauma of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, has died from problems of most cancers, the state’s present governor stated on Sunday. She was 76.
FILE PHOTO: Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco speaks throughout an inauguration ceremony for Mayor Ray Nagin in New Orleans June 1, 2006. REUTERS/Lee Celano
Blanco, a Democrat, was the primary lady elected to guide the state, serving as governor from 2004 to 2008.
“Kathleen beloved this state and our folks and was a shining instance of what might be achieved by exhausting work and dedication,” Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, stated on Twitter. “She led Louisiana by one among our darkest hours, when hurricanes and the failure of the federal levee system devastated a lot of our state.”
The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, reported that she died on Sunday from problems of the pores and skin most cancers melanoma.
Blanco entered public workplace in 1984 as the primary lady elected to symbolize town of Lafayette within the state legislature, in accordance with her official state biography.
A mom of six who ran for workplace after years at house along with her youngsters, Blanco was additionally the primary lady elected to the Louisiana Public Service Fee. She served two phrases because the state’s lieutenant governor earlier than ascending to the governorship in 2004.
However the disastrous failure of the levees surrounding New Orleans throughout Hurricane Katrina and criticism of the state’s response derailed a promising political profession. Deaths blamed on Katrina vary from about 1,200 to greater than 1,800, most alongside the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Hurricane Rita hit the Gulf Coast area quickly after, delivering additional blows to a state that appeared unprepared for the dual catastrophes. That storm was blamed for greater than 100 deaths.
“Her legitimacy and recognition was gone in two weeks,” political guide Roy Fletcher was quoted as saying in a 2006 interview with the Advocate.
Blanco declined to hunt re-election.
Former Arkansas Republican Governor Mike Huckabee, whose time in workplace partly overlapped that of Blanco, praised her on Twitter, saying: “We have been from totally different events, however she and her husband (everybody simply known as him “Coach”) have been elegant, pretty ppl and we labored collectively on initiatives that helped each our states.”
Blanco is survived by her husband, Raymond Blanco, 5 youngsters, 13 grandchildren and her mom, the newspaper stated.
Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California; Modifying by Peter Cooney