|Kathleen Marie Babineaux Blanco|
January 12, 2004 – January 14, 2008
|Preceded by||Murphy J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Bobby Jindal|
50th Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
January 8, 1996 – January 12, 2004
|Preceded by||Melinda Schwegmann|
|Succeeded by||Mitch Landrieu|
Louisiana Public Service Commissioner for the 2nd district
|Succeeded by||Jimmy Field|
Louisiana State Representative for District 45 (Lafayette Parish)
|Preceded by||J. Luke LeBlanc|
|Succeeded by||Jerry Luke LeBlanc|
|Born|| December 15, 1942|
New Iberia, Louisiana
|Died|| August 18, 2019 (aged 76)|
|Resting place||Saint Charles Borromeo Cemetery in Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish|
|Alma mater|| Mount Carmel Academy (defunct)|
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Kathleen Marie Babineaux Blanco (December 15, 1942 – August 18, 2019) 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.
- Bob Mann, Blanco's former press secretary