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As prepared for delivery


My fellow Louisianans:

I am grateful to be here today and thankful to everyone who has traveled from Amite and other places near and far to join us for this ceremony.

Governor Jindal, the first thing Donna and I want to do is thank you, Mrs. Jindal, and your staff for the efficient and gracious manner in which this transition has been handled. Your kindness and cooperation is a testimony that we can indeed work together for the common good of the state we all love.

Speaking of love, I want to thank the love of my life, my wife Donna, and our children Samantha Bel, Sarah Ellen, and John Miller. Also, I want to thank my mother, Dora Jean Edwards, and pay tribute to my late father Frank Edwards, Jr., who died while the campaign was underway. I miss him terribly and thank him for passing on to me a sense of service, commitment to others, and the value of hard work. I love my parents, siblings, and extended family and thank each of them for helping me stand before the state as Louisiana's Governor.

I especially want to thank all the people of Louisiana – those who have joined us here today and those spread out in each corner of the state.

We are here because you have chosen to rise above partisan politics and put Louisiana First. I was not a business-as-usual candidate, and I will not be a business-as-usual governor. I am, first and foremost, a proud Louisianan.

Like many of you, I grew up in a family that taught me the importance of faith. We filled an entire pew at church every Sunday, and the hardest catechism teacher I ever had was my mother, who taught me in the sixth grade.