Although the Republican Party was routed across the country, conceding control of Congress to the Democrats, Piyush 'Bobby' Jindal bucked the trend, winning re-election to Congress from the 1st District in Louisiana with a staggering 87.9 per cent of the votes. His three opponents together managed to poll under 11,000 votes.
Jindal spent over $2.3 million, more than any other candidate, on his re-election bid -- and triggered allegations that he was preparing a bid for the governor's seat next year. Jindal had earlier run for governor in 2003, but lost narrowly to incumbent Kathleen de Blanco.
Jindal said he won't make a decision on that race until early 2007, and that he had put so much money, and energy, into his Congressional campaign because he had learnt his lesson in 2003, when polls showed him ahead in the race for governor, only for him to lose in the last stretch.
This time, "Even though we were glad the polls had us ahead, we never took anything for granted," Jindal said.
While endorsing Jindal, the Times Picayune had said he ‘brings an impressive level of intelligence and energy to everything he does, and that has been true during his first term in Congress. Although he was a newcomer to elected office, he quickly established himself as a leader in Washington.’
His landslide re-election now establishes him as one of the rising stars in a beleaguered party that needs credible faces to project.
Photograph: Paresh Gandhi
Also read: Bobby Jindal is India Abroad Person of the Year