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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Transcript of Blanco's speech

Below is a copy of Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's speech from earlier tonight, as provided by her press office. In case you missed it, she won't be running for governor again.

I didn't take down every word she wrote as I watched her on television, but there is nothing about the transcription that reads differently from what I heard.

Good evening. I speak to you tonight not only as your governor, but as your fellow citizen. When we began our journey together three years ago, it was a time of optimism and hope. We embarked on sweeping reforms and improvements. These efforts were well underway when catastrophe struck our state.

Together, we faced two of the greatest disasters ever to strike this country. I will always remember the countless acts of courage from people all over Louisiana. Everyday, I am moved by the strength and resolve of our people to rebuild our shattered state.

Since Katrina and Rita, I have devoted every waking hour to both the recovery and to making the entire state stronger.

Of course, there have been those who have attempted to exploit these tragedies for partisan gain. This is wrong.

In the upcoming session, I will ask legislators to adopt a bold and sweeping education agenda. Education is the key to transforming our future and developing our economy.

We must give our children the opportunities they deserve. I am proud to have positioned Louisiana to compete for significant new industry for the first time in our history. And we can win the big ones!

I have put forth a powerful agenda for consideration. While so many still suffer, I am choosing to do what I believe is best for my State. I will focus my time and energy for the next nine months on the people's work, not politics.

After much thought and prayer, I have decided that I will not seek reelection as your governor.

There is nothing more important to Louisiana's future than a strong recovery, free from politics.

I'm announcing my decision early - well before the legislative session. I'm doing this so we can work without interference from election year politics. Every action in my remaining months in office will be to serve Louisiana's best interest.

We have no time to look back. We must move forward boldly to bring new opportunities to Louisiana. Despite these terrible disasters, my eyes are firmly fixed on the future.

I'm proud to have set the bar high when it comes to economic development and education. We're growing a vibrant economy that is providing quality new jobs for our people. I will continue to work on these significant new initiatives.

I made my decision with the love and support of my family. I would like to thank my husband Raymond, our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren. Along with my mother and the rest of my family, they have stood with me, and with my Lord, they are my rock.

I thank my hardworking staff and Cabinet for their tireless dedication and honesty in serving the people.

To you my friends, across the State, I offer my heartfelt thanks for the honor of serving you. In the months ahead, I ask for your prayers and support as we unite to move our state forward. A shining future is within our reach.

Thank you and God Bless Louisiana.



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