Kathleen Blanco

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Kathleen Marie Babineaux Blanco

In office
January 12, 2004 – January 14, 2008
Preceded by Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Succeeded by Bobby Jindal

50th Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
In office
January 8, 1996 – January 12, 2004
Preceded by Melinda Schwegmann
Succeeded by Mitch Landrieu

Louisiana Public Service Commissioner for the 2nd district
In office
Succeeded by Jimmy Field

Louisiana State Representative for District 45 (Lafayette Parish)
In office
Preceded by J. Luke LeBlanc
Succeeded by Jerry Luke LeBlanc

Born December 15, 1942
New Iberia, Louisiana
Died August 18, 2019 (aged 76)
Lafayette, Louisiana
Resting place Saint Charles Borromeo Cemetery in Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Raymond Blanco (married 1964-2019, her death)
Children Six children

Leopold Louis, Sr. (1917-2001), and Lucille Fremin Babineaux (1919-2022)

Alma mater Mount Carmel Academy (defunct)
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Religion Roman Catholic

Kathleen Marie Babineaux Blanco (December 15, 1942 – August 18, 2019)[1] was a Democratic politician from her native Louisiana, who holds four first designations for women in her state. Not only was she the state's first woman governor, with service from 2004 to 2008, but the first woman lieutenant governor, the first woman public service commissioner and the first woman PSC chairman, and the first woman from Lafayette elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. She never lost an election.

To win her seat on the Public Service Commission in 1988, Blanco handily defeated a Republican, Kernan "Skip" Hand of Kenner in Jefferson Parish. She similarly crushed Republican state Representative Suzanne Mayfield Krieger in the race for lieutenant governor in 1995. Her one term as governor is remembered largely for criticism that she and her fellow Democrat, Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans received about the relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. In the 2003, general election, she defeated Republican U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal. In 2007, Blanco declined to seek reelection, and Jindal easily won the governorship over the Democrat Foster Campbell, a member of the same regulatory agency, the Louisiana Public Service Commission, on which Blanco served from 1989 to 1996.

As lieutenant governor, Blanco did not preside over the state Senate, as is the practice in many other states but instead directed activities of the state's tourism office.

A native of New Iberia in Iberia Parish, Blanco lived in Lafayette with her husband, Raymond, a former footvball coach and educator. After attending the defunct Mount Carmel Academy, a Roman Catholic girls' school in Iberia Parish, she graduated with a degree in business education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and taught briefly at Breaux Bridge High School. She had six children.

On December 10, 2017, Blanco confirmed that she is gravely ill from ocular melanoma, a rare form of cancer, first treated in 2011, but which has metastasized to her liver. "I am in a fight for my own life, one that will be difficult to win," she said in a statement to Louisiana newspapers.[2]

In April 2019, Blanco entered hospice care.[3] She died four months later. Her husband, Raymondo Blanco (1935-2022), was a long-time coach and administrator at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.[4]

See also

  • Bob Mann, Blanco's former press secretary


  1. Kathleen Blanco. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 20, 2020.
  2. Greg Hilburn (December 10, 2017). Former Gov. Blanco gravely ill, fighting for life. Alexandria Town Talk.
  3. Greg Hilburn (April 17, 2019). Gov. Kathleen Blanco enters hospice care. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on April 18, 2019.
  4. Raymond Blanco, former coach, dean of students, husband of Gov. Kathleen Blanco, dies at 87. The Baton Rouge Advocate (November 20, 2022).