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Widow of Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow to run for his vacant seat

Widow of Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow to run for his vacant seat
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Julia Letlow, the widow of Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R-La.), intends to run for the seat he was set to hold in the upcoming March special election to fill the vacancy.

Luke Letlow was elected to represent Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District but died on Dec. 29 from the coronavirus before he could take office.

“Everything in my life and in my marriage has prepared me for this moment," Julia Letlow 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.”

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“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 (D) has already scheduled a special election for March 20. Luke Letlow won the seat after serving as chief of staff to former Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), who did not seek reelection in 2020.

Julia Letlow is an executive at the University of Louisiana Monroe. Republican Allen Guillory and Democrat Sandra Christophe, who both ran in the November general election, have both said they intend to run again in the special election, though several other possible Republican contenders told the News Star that they will not run out of deference to Julia Letlow.

Luke Letlow was 41 when he died. He is survived by his wife and their two young children, Jeremiah, 3, and Jacqueline, 1.