Rep. Bobby Jindal, who many observers believe only narrowly lost the 2003 gubernatorial race to Kathleen Blanco because of prejudice against his Indian heritage, has won the Louisiana Primary outright against weaker Democratic opposition. Melinda DeSlatte reports for the Associated Press:
U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal won the Louisiana governor’s race Saturday, becoming the nation’s youngest governor and the first non-white to hold the state’s post since Reconstruction.
Jindal, the Republican 36-year-old son of Indian immigrants, carried more than half the vote against 11 opponents. With about 92 percent of the vote in, Jindal had 53 percent with 625,036 votes — more than enough to win outright and avoid a Nov. 17 runoff.
Read the whole story at the link above. Jindal was universally expected to win, given the lack of stature and funding for any of his opponents. The big question was: Could he avoid a run-off where the opposition might unify against him? This has now been answered.
Democratic successes in off-year and special elections in 2005 were often cited as portending a general victory in 2006, which did happen. I’m betting Jindal’s victory gets treated as “in the deep South, the last refuge of Republicans . . . ” and “against the national trend towards Democrats . . .” – just a guess, mind you . . .