BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's current and former elected officials offered tributes Sunday to Kathleen Blanco. The Democratic former governor died at the age of 76 after a yearslong struggle with cancer. Here are some of the reactions to her death:
GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS:
"Serving as this state's first female governor, Kathleen was a trailblazer and broke many barriers, leading the way for others to follow. She stands among the giants who have helped shaped Louisiana's history. Kathleen loved this state and our people and was a shining example of what can be accomplished by hard work and determination.
She led Louisiana through one of our darkest hours, when hurricanes and the failure of the federal levee system devastated much of our state. I hope history will remember Gov. Blanco as a tireless advocate for Louisiana, who fought fiercely for our state to rebuild following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Louisianans owe a debt of gratitude to Gov. Blanco, who always put the people of our state first, fighting to improve the quality of life for our families and children, championing better educational opportunities for all students at every level and building a stronger Louisiana."
FORMER GOV. BOBBY JINDAL:
"Kathleen loved Louisiana and served the state for decades. She faced every struggle, including her last, with good cheer and a strong will. She will be missed."
U.S. SEN. JOHN KENNEDY:
"Kathleen was a dedicated public servant and a loving mother, daughter and wife. She led a remarkable life but wasn't immune to tragedy. She handled those tragedies with tremendous courage and unwavering faith. True faith makes you fearless, and that faith was Kathleen's solace and strength. Louisiana has suffered a tremendous loss with her passing."
U.S. REP. STEVE SCALISE:
"I am saddened to hear of Gov. Kathleen Blanco's passing. She served our state with honor and integrity during an incredibly challenging period as Louisiana recovered from both hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Kathleen dedicated her entire life to public service and will be remembered as someone who cared deeply for Louisiana, her people, and our culture."