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Ripe For Change

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Louisiana may trace its legal and political roots to France, but it was an Englishman who best summed up our love-hate relationship with politics and elections. 'It has been said," Winston Churchill once noted, 'that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."

Louisiana voters will put that observation to the test once again this Saturday (Oct. 20), when they go to the polls for the first statewide elections since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita turned our state " and our politics " upside down in 2005. In addition to the havoc wrought by the storms, legislative term limits kick in this year. Already, more than half of the Louisiana House of Representatives and just about half of the state Senate will not be returning to office. After Saturday, the turnover could go much higher.

That turnover started at the top, as Gov. Kathleen Blanco decided in February not to seek re-election " making her Katrina's first political victim this year. Put all those factors together, and it's clear that Louisiana is ripe for change.

A lengthy ballot awaits voters in every corner of the state, and to help our readers prepare to play their part in America's noble experiment, Gambit Weekly has prepared stories on all the major contests " from the governor's race to local judicial elections. Whether you're a die-hard Democrat, a rock-ribbed Republican or an unreconstructed Independent, we hope you'll find the following pages helpful as you make your choices this weekend. Table of Contents: The Governor's Race XX

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