'Incredible Moment:' Wife of Deceased Congressman-Elect Wins Special Election to Take His Seat
Amid broad support that included endorsements from former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, Republican Julia Letlow on Saturday won a special election to fill the House seat her late husband, Luke Letlow, would have assumed.
Luke Letlow won a runoff election in the Pelican State’s 5th Congressional District race in December, but died later that month after having been diagnosed with COVID-19. He was 41.
Julia Letlow, 40, defeated 11 other candidates, according to Fox News. She polled 65 percent of the vote. The second-place candidate received 27 percent of the vote.
“This is an incredible moment, and it is truly hard to put into words,” Letlow said in a statement after her victory was announced.
“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,” she said.
Trump issued an endorsement for Letlow on March 10.
“Julia Letlow, a wonderful and talented person who is the widow of U.S. Representative-elect Luke Letlow, is running for Congress in Louisiana-5 at the urging of so many people who know her so very well. She is Pro-Life and strong on Crime, the Border, loves our Military, our Vets, and will always protect our cherished Second Amendment. Julia, who is so outstanding, has my Complete and Total Endorsement. The Great State of Louisiana will be thrilled!” Trump said in the statement on his website.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said Letlow “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 said.
“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.,” Edwards said in a statement.
“Some people are more focused on agriculture; some people want infrastructure,” Letlow said in talking about her campaign, according to The Washington Post. “We just want opportunity for our children.”
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