A Tribute to the Life and Legacy of Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

In Kathy Spurlock, Louisiana Ladies by Lola Magazine

Louisiana’s first female governor set a high bar for public service and ethics during her administration and in the years leading up to her election to the state’s highest office. I love her and admire her.

-John Denison, Former Television Journalist

She never acted as if she was better, or knew better, or deserved better — even after she wound up in charge during the worst disaster to ever hit her state. It may have been why some people in politics underestimated her. It may also have been why they were entirely wrong to do so.

-Stephanie Grace, Nola.com Journalist

Louisiana flourished during her tenure as governor and she took an unfair political beating for Hurricane Katrina.

-Joshua Stockle, Political Science Professor

I am proud and humbled to have known her and called her a friend. While we didn’t always agree, I always had tremendous respect for her kind heart, spirit of service and love for Acadiana and Louisiana.

Our thoughts, prayers and sincerest best wishes are with her family, friends and the people of Louisiana who have lost a real leader and deeply caring soul. This is a moment we can all rise above the things that divide us to recognize what one person can accomplish when she works hard, perseveres and stays true to herself and her values. She will be truly missed.

-Joel Robideaux, Mayor-President Of Lafayette Consolidated Government

She wasn’t the boldest or most charismatic politician Louisiana ever produced, but Kathleen Blanco may have been the most empathetic, compassionate person to serve as Louisiana governor. That’s no insignificant distinction. Knowing her as I did, I suspect she would be fine with that legacy.

-Robert Mann, Author & Professor, former Blanco Communications Director

I first met Kathleen Babineaux Blanco when she was a public service commissioner. If you’ve ever tried to read a PSC filing, you know it takes a pretty smart person to figure it out. Definitely smarter than I am! We became women who mutually respected each other’s work as she sought other offices, and friends over time as I grew to know her family and her values. She would always call me when she was headed north, and we often would find ourselves riding around visiting between her official duties. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to tour her around “MY north Louisiana” when she became lieutenant governor, and to garner her support for our region that is so often left out. She made me that promise that she would remember us, and she fulfilled it again and again as she served as lieutenant governor and then won the governorship. We were, in turn, thrilled to attend her inauguration as governor and dance until the sun came up. She has given so much to our state, raised an amazing family, enjoyed much success and endured much heartbreak. My prayer is for God to wrap his arms around Coach and the Blanco family in comfort during this time. I know He has a welcome home party already arranged for her.

-Kathy Spurlock, Former Executive Editor Of The Monroe News-Star

Flags across the state remain at half staff until August 24, as an expression of respect to honor former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. Governor Blanco was a woman of abiding faith with unconditional love for her family, the state of Louisiana and the people she served. While she will be greatly missed, the legacy she leaves behind because of her work on behalf of Louisiana will live on for generations to come.

-Governor John Bel Edwards