Blanco expected to announce she's not running for re-election

March 20, 2007

Reported by Associated Press Louisiana

Governor Kathleen Blanco has booked television time this evening amid widespread speculation at the state Capitol that she plans to drop out of the governor's race rather than seek a second term.

Blanco's popularity plummeted after hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated south Louisiana less than halfway through her first term.

Officials with Blanco's office wouldn't comment on what the state's first female governor planned to say during the 6 p.m. news hour. Staffers from cabinet-level departments said there will be a cabinet meeting at 4:30 p.m. at the governor's mansion but the subject matter was not disclosed.

As late as last week, Blanco said she planned to seek re-election. She has already drawn a half-dozen opponents in the fall election, including Republican U.S. Rep. Bobby Jindal, whom she defeated in a 2003 runoff. Former U.S. Sen. John Breaux, a Democrat who now is a Washington lobbyist, is expected to announce soon whether he'll join the race.