Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana governor during Hurricane Katrina, dies of cancer

StamfordAdvocate | 8/19/2019 | Staff
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Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has died following a long battle with cancer, sources say.

She was 76.

Statement - Family - Governor - Kathleen - Babineaux

In a statement, the family said, “Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco peacefully passed away on August 18, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Hospice Carpenter House in Lafayette, Louisiana, surrounded by her beloved husband Raymond, her children and family."

The 54th governor of Louisiana was the first woman elected governor of the state.

Born - New - Iberia - Blanco - Years

Born in New Iberia, Blanco spent 20 years in public office before becoming governor in 2004, including five years in the Louisiana House of Representatives, seven years on the Public Service Commission and eight years as lieutenant governor.

Nineteen months after she was elected governor, Blanco's campaign initiatives of affordable health care and improving education and the economy were upended by two of the worst hurricanes to ever strike the U.S. mainland.

Hurricane - Katrina - Flooding - New - Orleans

First it was Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed, devastating New Orleans. The local, state and federal response to the crisis were roundly criticized.

"If (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) had been able to deliver the buses that Mike Brown told me he had the ability to get instantly -- if the buses -- I kind of boil it down to this, if the buses had run on time, the trauma would not have existed. The people who remained behind would have been able to get out quickly," Blanco said in a 2015 interview.

Blanco - George - W - Bush

Blanco publicly sparred with then-President George W. Bush.

"The first time when I got the president's help, they didn't really want to help. But I had to embarrass them to help, kind of had to threaten to go to war on the White House, you know?" Blanco said.

Blanco - Responsibility - Failures - State - Level

Blanco ultimately accepted full responsibility for failures at the state level and moved on to the next phase -- rebuilding, starting with the Superdome.

"When I started the...
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