Louisiana’s first female governor: Kathleen Blanco

Governor Kathleen Babineaux-Blanco served as the first and only female Governor in Louisiana's history. And this influential woman was born in the small town of Coteau, Louisiana.

Political views aside, Governor Kathleen Babineaux-Blanco can be considered on of the most influential women in Louisiana' history. The first and currently only female governor, who presiding over two of Louisiana's worst natural disasters was born and raised in the small town of Coteau, just a few miles shy of New Iberia.

“Life was very, very simple and beautiful and good people.” said Blanco.

Babineaux, soon Blanco cherished the small town perks and mentality of her childhood years.

“My grandfather's grocery store was on one corner and a syrup mill was on another corner. At that time there was an Abdalla's store, a Wormwoods, a Morgan and Lizzy, they called it the five and dime store. It was very safe in those years, none of us felt threatened or worried about anything in those years” said Blanco.

Attending Coteau Elementary, then later Mount Carmel School for girls. The pre-governor attended church at Prompt Succor before becoming a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Health, where she would later marry the love of her life and father of six children, Raymond Blanco aka Coach.

“It was packed with family and friends and it was a beautiful wedding.” said Blanco.

After four year stint at the then University of Southwestern Louisiana, Blanco became a permanent resident of Lafayette, where she's lived for 50 years.

And cherishes moments with other New Iberia native's, including long-time friend the late George Rodrigue. She still credits Iberia Parish with giving her a spark that took her on a 24 year old political career.

“I've always been very proud. I'm very proud to say New Iberia was the place that I was born. They gave me my culture, they gave me my values that I am very proud of.” said Blanco.

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