Louisana elects Jindal, first Indian-American governor

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HOUSTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) Republican US Rep Bobby Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana to become the first Indian-American to lead a US state.

With most of the precincts counted, Jindal, 36, who was elected yesterday, had 54 percent of the vote to win without a runoff in Louisiana's electoral system, where candidates of all parties run in a single primary.

His nearest competitor, Democrat Walter Boasso, received just 18 per cent of the vote.

The Oxford-educated Jindal will replace Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat who did not run again after she was widely criticized for bungled recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Blanco narrowly defeated Jindal in the 2003 election.

Jindal, whose first name is Piyush, is the son of immigrants from India and the first non-white Louisiana governor since Reconstruction in the 1870s.

''My mom and dad came to this country in pursuit of the American Dream, and guess what happened? They found the American Dream to be alive and well right here in Louisiana,'' he said in victory speech.

He is a conservative who ran on promises to stop political corruption, cut taxes and improve schools.

REUTERS SYU HT1030

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