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Louisiana Needs a Governor: 2015 in Review

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W.Watkins
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Much of the 2015 Louisiana political news was dominated by the guy who used to tell us, “I’ve got the job that I want,” as well as by those vying to take over that job.

Governor Bobby Jindal began the final year of his administration with a controversial prayer rally at LSU, where he declared, “We can’t just elect a candidate to fix what ails our country. We need a spiritual revival to fix what ails our country.”

But the rally was no fix for the state’s massive budget deficit. Neither was Jindal’s stance, based on his pledge to Grover Norquist.

“We have made it very clear: we’re not for increasing taxes, period,” Jindal stated throughout the legislative session, alienating more than a few lawmakers.

“Who the hell cares what Grover says?” remarked Democratic state Senator Karen Carter Peterson during one floor debate, while over in the House, Republican Representative Chris Broadwater remarked, “Is this an instrument that I believe is good policy? The answer is no.”

The state survived the fiscal session — barely.

Two weeks later, Jindal announced, “I am running for President of the greatest country in the world—the United States of America.”

And then he took off for – primarily -- Iowa.

Meanwhile in Louisiana, contenders to replace Jindal were calling him out.

“Louisiana deserves a governor who wakes up every day, worried about the people of Louisiana. And Louisiana deserves a governor who wakes up in the state of Louisiana,” John Bel Edwards said during one gubernatorial debate.

The candidates were calling each other a few things, too.

“Let me take this opportunity to call out Senator Pinocchio,” Scott Angelle said to David Vitter, during another debate.

“Senator Vitter seems to be attacking me and Commissioner Angelle, and not going after John Bel very much,” Jay Dardenne observed.

To which Edwards responded, “All I’ll say is I’m glad it’s you, and you. But it’ll be me soon enough.”

And in the end it was John Bel Edwards – in the runoff, and as the voters’ choice for governor.

“I’m going to be the governor of all the people!” Edwards declared on election night.

And as for Jindal, and the job he really, truly wanted?

“This is not my time,” he said, when announcing the end of his presidential run in November.

What will 2016 bring? Stay tuned.