A Republican who says she has never worked on a political campaign filed documents Tuesday launching a drive to oust Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who was harshly criticized for her response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Kat Landry, who filed a recall petition with state elections officials, said Louisiana needs new leadership to recover from the storms' back-to-back blows.

"What we have seen in the past few months is a lack of leadership, a lack of communication, a lack of understanding of how to get things done," Landry said.

In Louisiana, getting a recall on the ballot requires petition signatures from at least one-third of the state's registered voters, or about 900,000 people, in 180 days, according to Jennifer Marusak of the secretary of state's office.

The 180-day period for gathering signatures began Tuesday, when the petition was filed, Marusak said.

If the proper signatures are gathered, a majority of voters in a recall election would have to vote to get rid of Blanco, a Democrat, before she would be forced out of office.

Blanco was out of the country Tuesday, studying flood-control measures in Holland, and unavailable to comment. A spokesman of hers would not comment on the petition.

Landry said she's received a tremendous amount of traffic on a recall Web site she set up, and noted 676,000 people voted against Blanco for governor in the first place. Blanco was elected in 2003 with 52 percent of the vote; the number cited by Landry was the total who voted for her opponent, Bobby Jindal.

A call to the state Republican Party for comment on whether it was involved in the petition drive was not immediately returned.