La. Gov. Bobby Jindal expected to win re-election

AP News

10/22/2011 2:00:28 PM - AP News

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal faced a field of nine competitors in Saturday's election, but they had little money to mount the type of advertising campaign needed to oust the popular Republican from a second term.

The contest is an open primary, meaning a candidate can win the seat outright if he or she receives more than 50 percent of the vote. Jindal was widely expected to easily win re-election. He has recently polled well above 50 percent, while his leading challenger _ along with others vying for the seat _ has polled in the single digits. Tara Hollis, a Democrat from north Louisiana, was an outsider to the political establishment and was unable to drum up the cash needed to challenge Jindal.

The 40-year-old Jindal, who took office in 2008, piled up $15 million in campaign cash from around the nation and attracted no Democratic challengers with statewide name recognition or fundraising heft in the face of his consistently high approval ratings and a near-collapse of the Democratic Party's clout in the state.

Jindal, who was the first Indian-American governor in the U.S., is considered by some a possible presidential contender in the future. He published a book and appeared on national news shows, but he has ruled out a 2012 run. Still, his brand of conservatism and refusal to raise taxes has resonated outside the state.

The race that has received more attention is the one for lieutenant governor. Incumbent Jay Dardenne, who took office after a special election last year, faces off against Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. Like Jindal, Nungesser was a vocal critic of the federal response to the massive Gulf oil spill.

The race for lieutenant governor _ the next in line if the governor should step down _ also has received attention because of Jindal's national ambitions.