Louisiana Gubernatorial Election Victory Speech
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[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio.]
Four years ago, I had the privilege of coming and telling you that LSU had beaten Alabama, but that we had lost. Four years later, I'm here to tell you we just took the lead over Auburn -- and we've won.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Louisiana. Folks, I've got an idea. Let's give our homeland, the great state of Louisiana, a fresh start.
I want to thank Mr. Campbell, Mr. Boasso, Mr. Georges -- the other candidates that offered themselves. This is democracy. Let's give them a round of applause for offering themselves for Louisiana. (Thank you. Thank you.) I also spent some time talking today to Governor Blanco. I'm confident we're going to have a smooth transition. I also want to start -- Let's give her a round of applause as well, absolutely.
I want to start -- I want to start by thanking my wife, my best friend, Supriya. Those who know me well realize there's no Bobby without Supriya. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary two nights ago in that most romantic of places -- the final debate. (I love you, honey.) See folks? I really do have a heart after all.
I also want to thank -- You can see them down here -- I want to thank our wonderful kids, Selia, Shaan -- Slade's actually already in bed right now. They've made a habit -- You can see right now -- They make a habit of crashing press conferences, disrupting events. I think you're going to get to know them all just a little bit better. I suspect the Governor's mansion's about to become a little bit of a playground. I promise you this -- I promise you this: We won't let them color on the walls; don't worry.
I stand here tonight very humbled
by your support. It's hard to describe, but I really feel a heavy sense not only
of gratitude to all of you, but of responsibility. More than anything, I stand
here tonight tremendously excited and exceedingly optimistic about the
opportunity to make real change and to turn our state around.
Well, we have some of that, just like every other state does. But let me paint for you the real picture of Louisiana. Here's what I've found while visiting with folks in all 64 parishes and every nook and cranny of our state. The people of Louisiana are God-fearing, hard-working, law-abiding, freedom-loving folks who look out for each other. The people of Louisiana are the "salt of the earth."
They've been so good and kind and generous to my
family and me. Look, I was born and raised right
here in Baton Rouge. But during this campaign I've seen places in Louisiana that
you probably couldn't even find on a map. I've been to -- I've been to many
of these places
multiple times. I spent so much time in North Louisiana, one of the mayors
actually made me an honorary citizen. Five minutes later the local tax assessor
gave me a bill.
Today, we begin a new chapter in
the history of Louisiana. I've said throughout the campaign that there are two
entities that have the most to fear from us winning this election: one is
corruption and the other is incompetence. If you happen to see either
of them, let them know the party is over.
Starting today, every citizen of Louisiana has equal access to state Government. Who you know will no longer be more important than what you know. But before we can change the direction of our state, we all have to change our current mindset. We have to defeat cynicism. We have to stop saying: "Oh, politics is always corrupt; there's nothing we can do to straighten out that mess in Baton Rouge." Sadly, those words roll right off the tongue. We've all become accustomed to thinking that we really can't do anything about the corruption and incompetence in state government.
We just can't think that way anymore.
I'm asking you to believe that we can turn our state around.
I'm asking you to give Louisiana another chance.
I'm asking you to believe in the greatness of our people.
I'm not just asking you to give me a chance, I'm asking you to give yourself a
chance. I'm asking you to give us a chance. I'm asking you once again to believe
As I promised in the campaign, right after I'm sworn in, I'm going to notify the
legislature that I'll be calling them in for a special session to pass real
ethics reform with real teeth.
It is my intention to work closely with the legislature, and I'm looking
forward to it.
But please understand this: I'm not going to take "no" for an answer on reforming
our ethics laws.
Real ethics reform -- Real ethics reform is not simply campaign rhetoric.
It is the lynchpin for change, for regaining the confidence of the voters, for
turning our state around.
If and when folks try to stop it, I will call them out.
If -- If and when people try to throw in amendments designed to derail ethics reform,
I will call them out.
Now look, I do have a major announcement to make: "The campaign is over." Now -- Now it is time for a fresh start. At times it was a rough campaign. There were a lot of charges and counter-charges thrown out there. It's over. I bear no ill will to anyone. To all those out there who didn't vote for me tonight, I'm asking for your support as well. This campaign is now in the past. I'm not interested in fixing anything in the past. As of this moment, I'm only looking at the future.
This is a time for us to pull together. Republicans, Democrats, Independents -- we're all Louisianians¹ first. North or South -- we're all Louisianians first. Rural, suburban, small town, big city -- we're all Louisianians first. The time for partisan politics is behind us. This is not my victory tonight. This is our victory tonight.
The people of Louisiana have spoken, and they've spoken very loudly. They're ready for a fresh start. There's never been before a clearer mandate for change in our state. This is our time. Many have said that the eyes of the nation will be on us. And while that's true, and that's nice to know, that's not what motivates us. Our motivation is pride in our state, pride in our homeland. Our motivation is building great jobs and careers for our kids and for their kids. Our motivation is the firm and unyielding belief that Louisiana can be the greatest place in the world to not only chase the American Dream, but in fact to actually catch it.
I want to thank God for the many blessings He's bestowed upon me and on all of
And I want to serve notice on the rest of the country: Keep your eyes on
Everyone in the country has helped us in our time of need, and we are very
grateful, and we still need help.
But please know this: We're simply not going to just try to rebuild. We'll have
no part of such a small goal. We're setting our sights much higher. We're getting ready to take off
To our government, which has been too corrupt:
And our business climate, which has been too weak:
This state -- This state wants change, and I've got one more message tonight: If you're a business looking at expansion, and especially if you're a young person trying to decide where you will make your home, change is not just on the way: Change begins tonight!
Good night, and may God richly bless you. God bless you.
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