Blanco, Edwards, Roemer discuss La. politics at Loyola event - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Blanco, Edwards, Roemer discuss La. politics at Loyola event

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Three former Louisiana governors - Edwin Edwards, Kathleen Blanco and Buddy Roemer, who altogether led the state for 24 years - sat down with FOX 8's  Lee Zurik at Loyola University Wednesday to discuss a number of issues.

One question in particular stirred a variety of reactions: whether Louisiana's leaders, from Huey P. Long on down, have blown opportunities to help the state develop and grow.

Roemer said yes.

"We've gone from eight congressmen to seven congressmen to six congressmen. We are the lowest-growing state of the Southern states," Roemer said. "The Census Bureau tells me that if we continue this dismal record, we will have one fewer congressman, not in the next census, but in the census after that."

Roemer said a key to turning things around from an economic development standpoint is a focus on education - a point echoed by Blanco.

"I've always thought it was a problem based in the lack of proper education, so we've had some leadership decisions in the past, even at the local level, that have not panned out properly for our people. So, there's a lot of responsibility to be shared," Blanco said.

But in response to that same question and throughout the event, Edwards, who is now running for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District seat, kept things fairly light with humor.

He also shared a more positive opinion of the state's current standing.

"It's good living in this state. I like it here and I'm going to do everything I can to make it better and Governor Roemer, you're right, we've lost two members of Congress, and until about three weeks ago, I was willing to lose another one," Edwards said, as laughter erupted.

"All of us had a different approach to government," Edwards said. "We all tried to do the best we could."

The former governors also discussed the current state of Louisiana politics, with Blanco sharing some insight into her experience as governor during and after Hurricane Katrina.

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