Connect with us

U.S. News

Widow of GOP Louisiana congressman-elect wins special election to replace husband who died of COVID-19



MONROE, La. The widow of a late Republican Louisiana congressman-elect, who died from COVID-19 in December, made history on Saturday by becoming the first female GOP member of Congress from the state.

ABC News reports 40-year-old Julia Letlow won against 11 other challengers in the race after her husband, Luke Letlow, died days before being sworn into office.

“This is an incredible moment and it is truly hard to put into words,” Letlow said in a statement Saturday night. “What was born out of the terrible tragedy of losing my husband, Luke, has become my mission in his honor to carry the torch and serve the good people of Louisiana’s 5th District.”

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards called for a special election to fill the seat after Letlow died on Dec. 29.

In a statement on Saturday, the governor congratulated the congresswoman-elect and said it was a “bittersweet” day.

“This is a proud day for Julia, her children, all of her supporters, and our state, but it is also a bittersweet day as she wins the seat opened by the passing of her late husband, Luke,” Edwards said. “I will continue to keep her in my prayers just as she has continued to exemplify strength, determination, and tenacity in the wake of a terrible tragedy. I know that these same characteristics that got her through the last few months will make her an excellent advocate for Louisiana in Washington, D.C.”

Letlow, who is currently an executive assistant to the president for external relations and community outreach at the University of Louisiana in Monroe, will avoid a runoff because she won a majority of the vote.

“I will be a servant to the people of this district and to be present across the 24 parishes. I will listen more than I speak and seek to find solutions to our region’s challenges,” she said. “From tonight forward, I work for you and it is an honor to do so.”