Julia Letlow, widow of U.S. Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, will run for Congress. He died of Covid complications at 41 on December 29. President Donald J. Trump is unable to send a tweet “but he will endorse her,” the Republican National Security Council posted.
Mrs. Letlow will run for the 5th Congressional District seat in Louisiana her husband was unable to fill because of his COVID-19 death Dec. 29.
“Everything in my life and in my marriage has prepared me for this moment,” she said in a statement. “My motivation is the passion Luke and I both shared: to better this region that we called home and to leave it a better place for our children and future generations.
“I am running to continue the mission Luke started — to stand up for our Christian values, to fight for our rural agricultural communities and to deliver real results to move our state forward.’’
Gov. John Bel Edwards has called a special election on March 20 to fill the seat, which came open after former Congressman Ralph Abraham (R) didn’t seek reelection to honor a three-term limit pledge. Qualifying for the election is Jan. 20-22.
Luke Letlow, 41, who had served as Abraham’s chief of staff, died Dec. 29 from COVID-19 complications at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport. He would have been sworn into office Jan. 3.
Julia Letlow, 41, is an executive at the University of Louisiana Monroe who was a finalist for the ULM president’s job last fall. She and her late husband have two children — Jeremiah, 3, and Jacqueline, 1.
Republican Whip Steve Scalise (LA), tweeted his endorsement of Julia: “I can’t think of anyone better to carry on Luke’s legacy in representing Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District.”
A host of other Republicans had been waiting to see if Julia Letlow would run for the seat before committing to the race.
State Sen. Stewart Cathey, State Rep. Michael Echols and State Rep. Mike Johnson all said they won’t run in deference to Letlow.