Jindal served as president of the incoming freshman class of congressmen, in He was elected to the position of House assistant majority whip, a senior leadership role. He served in this capacity from to Louisiana gubernatorial election, On January 22, , Jindal announced his candidacy for governor. Jindal finished with , votes 54 percent.
Boasso ran second with , votes 17 percent. Georges finished with , 14 percent , and Campbell, who is also a former state senator, ran fourth with , 12 percent. The remaining candidates collectively polled three percent of the vote.
Jindal polled pluralities or majorities in 60 of the state's 64 parishes equivalent to counties in other states. Bernard Parish which Boasso represented in the Legislature , and in the two neighboring north Louisiana parishes of Red River and Bienville located south of Shreveport , both historically Democratic and supported Campbell.
In the contest with Blanco, Jindal had lost most of the northern parishes. Jindal assumed the position of governor when he took the oath of office on January 14, At thirty-six, he became the youngest sitting governor in the United States. He is also Louisiana's first non-white governor since P. Pinchback served for thirty-five days during Reconstruction , and the first non-white governor to be elected Pinchback succeeded to the position of lieutenant governor on the death of Oscar Dunn , then to governor upon the impeachment of Henry Clay Warmoth.
Edmonson had been for twenty preceding years the bodyguard and confidant of LSU Tigers football coaches. Jindal said that he was unaware that the legislation, called in the media the "Edmonson Act," applied only to two persons. He urged the legislature to rewrite the law. Faircloth was considered the legal architect of the special legislative session on ethics reform. He guided the Jindal administration through the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
After leaving the administration, he continued as a periodic legal advisor to Jindal. On June 27, , Louisiana's Secretary of State confirmed that a recall petition had been filed against Jindal in response to Jindal's refusal to veto a bill that would have more than doubled the current state legislative pay.
During his gubernatorial campaign, Jindal had pledged to prevent legislative pay raises that would take effect during the current term. In response, the petitioners dropped their recall effort. In announcing this change, the organization gave credit to the state's strong management and "commitment to streamlining its government functions. During a town hall meeting, Obama praised Jindal as a "hard working man who is doing a good job" for the State, and expressed support for the governor's overhaul of the State's educational system in the area of increased charter schools.
Forgotston , former counsel to the House Appropriations Committee who supported Jindal's election in , has expressed disappointment with the governor in regard to the legislative pay raise and other fiscal issues. He also ordered the state to purchase generators to provide needed power to hospitals and nursing homes without power.
Government officials vacated hospitals and nursing homes and put the poor, the ill, and the elderly on buses and trains out of town.
The evacuation was credited as one reason that Gustav resulted in only 16 deaths in the U. The state's successful response to Hurricane Gustav was in stark contrast to the failed hurricane response system for Hurricane Katrina in Jindal received bipartisan praise for his leadership during Gustav.
Jindal announced his intention to seek reelection in With high approval ratings and excessive amounts of campaign funds ,  Democrats struggled to land a recruit of any substance.
Lawmakers routinely approved the governor's choices for the two leadership positions. Alario is a long-term Democrat who switched parties prior to the elections. White , the short-term superintendent at the Recovery School District in New Orleans, to the position of state superintendent of education. Forgotston correctly predicted that Jindal's plan would fail to clear the legislature because of the higher sales taxes, the lack of needed support from Democrats, and the likelihood that the plan would not increase overall state revenues.
He said that Jindal might be perceived as an asset to John McCain 's campaign because he has wide support in the conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party and his immigrant past offsets McCain's white heritage. If McCain had won the presidency, he would have been the oldest president ever inaugurated to a first term. Charlie Crist of Florida , Gov.
However, on July 23, , Jindal said that he would not be the Republican vice presidential nominee in Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate.
While Jindal was given a prime-time speech slot at the party convention, he was not offered the keynote speech. During the presidential campaign, Jindal expressed admiration for both Senators McCain and Obama, and maintained that both have made positive contributions to the nation. Jindal called the president's economic stimulus plan "irresponsible" and argued against government intervention. Referring to Jindal as "devoid of substantive ideas for governing the country", political commentator Rachel Maddow summarized Jindal's Katrina remark as follows: That government can't work, and therefore we should stop seeking a functioning government.
Jindal had been mentioned as a potential candidate for the presidential election. On December 10, , Jindal indicated that he would likely not run for president in , saying he will focus on his re-election in and that this would make transitioning to a national campaign difficult, though he did not rule out a possible presidential bid. PAC was formed in to raise funds for a future presidential run. Jindal has stated that he has no involvement with the PAC.
If we want people to like us, we have to like them first," he said on the interview program Fox News Sunday. He also criticized what he termed "stupid" remarks regarding rape and conception made in by defeated Republican U. Let's Get The Party Started", where he was listed as a possible Republican candidate for the presidency in The article cited his fiscal and social conservative policies and his Indian American background, which would bring diversity to the GOP.
In Congress, he has voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment to restrict marriage to a union between one man and one woman. This opinion leaves the matter of marriage to the states where people can decide. In Louisiana, we will opt for traditional marriage. How about we let the people decide for themselves, via their representatives and via referendum? In a guest editorial in The New York Times , Jindal said that he has been contacted by several corporations who oppose the bill: Johnson's bill would guarantee the tax status of groups that support only traditional marriage.
Jindal responded by issuing Executive Order BJ, the "Marriage and Conscience Order" , which attempts to achieve the goals of the failed legislation. At least two legislators, state representatives Walker Hines and Neil Abramson , argue that this may be attributed to legislation that removed the governor's records from the public domain; they argue that the legislation was surreptitiously inserted as a last-minute amendment into an education bill by Jindal's office on the last day of the session, providing no time to properly review it before it passed the legislature and was signed into law by Jindal.
Heitmeier , a Democratic former member of both houses of the Louisiana Legislature and an unsuccessful candidate for Louisiana Secretary of State.