Bobby Jindal begins 2nd term as Louisiana Governor

Houston: Bobby Jindal, the first Indian-American governor in the US and a possible contender for the White House in future, began his second term as the chief of state of Louisiana following a landslide victory. The 40-year-old Republican easily coasted to a second term on Saturday, winning a landslide election against nine competitors in the open primary.

Jindal, son of Indian immigrant parents from from Punjab, took the oath of office before hundreds of people as he pledged not to rest on the accomplishments of his first four years. "I Bobby Jindal do solemnly swear that I will support the constitution and laws of the United States and the constitution and laws of this state," Jindal said as State Supreme Court Justice Catherine "Kitty" Kimball administered the oath on Monday.

He overwhelmed nine competitors in the open primary, where a candidate wins the race outright if he or she receives more than 50 per cent of the vote. With four-fifths of precincts reporting, Jindal had received about two-thirds of the total vote. His closest competitor, Tara Hollis, a Democrat from north Louisiana, garnered about one-fifth of the total vote. All of the other candidates were in single digits.

"I love to boast about the progress the people of Louisiana have made over these past four years, but I won`t and here is why. All of that was yesterday, we cannot stand, we must not rest on our laurels," said Jindal. Jindal told a packed hotel ballroom of supporters in Baton Rouge that he will "use every day, every hour of these next four years to make Louisiana the very best that we can be."

"I don`t believe in resting on our past accomplishments.I don`t believe in taking time off," Jindal said. Jindal piled up USD 15 million in campaign cash from around the nation and attracted no Democratic challengers with statewide name recognition or fundraising heft.

He`s had consistently high approval ratings since taking office in 2008. His win comes amid the virtual collapse of the Democratic Party`s clout in the state. In the current term, Republicans have gained control of all seven statewide elected posts and both chambers of the legislature. Hollis was an outsider to the political establishment and was unable to drum up the cash needed to challenge Jindal or mount a big-ticket advertising competition.

Jindal, formerly a member of the US House of Representatives, was elected governor of Louisiana for the first time in October 2007, winning a four-way race with 54.2 per cent of the vote. Though the Indian-American has ruled out a 2012 run for the White House, he is considered by some as a possible presidential contender in the future.