Republican Julia Letlow won a special election to replace her late husband Luke Letlow in Congress on Saturday after he died from COVID complications in December.
Luke Letlow, a Republican, was elected in a special race in December but died on December 29 at age 41, five days before he was set to be sworn in.
Julia Letlow defeated eleven candidates to become the first Republican congresswoman from Louisiana.
“This is an incredible moment, and it is truly hard to put into words,” Letlow said in a statement after her win. “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.”
Letlow won 65 percent of the vote to represent the 5th District, which covers all or part of 24 parishes, including the cities of Alexandria and Monroe. Democrat Sandra “Candy” Christophe received roughly 27 percent of the vote — candidates of all parties compete against each other in Louisiana primaries, with a runoff election held if no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
Letlow had received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump and the state GOP. She raised more than $680,000 for the race, more money than all of the other candidates combined.
On Saturday as voters cast their ballots, Trump called Letlow “outstanding and so necessary to help save our Second Amendment, at the border, and for our military and vets.”
“Louisiana, get out and vote today — she will never disappoint! Julia has my complete and total endorsement,” he said.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.,) congratulated the congresswoman-elect, saying in a statement she “offered a message that united Louisiana voters and defied predictions by winning this special election outright with a clear majority — a remarkable accomplishment among a field of 12 candidates.
“As Julia succeeds her late husband and our friend, Luke, we look forward to welcoming her to Congress, where her expertise in higher education will help us continue to deliver solutions for America,” he added.
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