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Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow dies of COVID-19

Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R) died on Tuesday after being hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Letlow, 41, was first admitted to St. Francis Medical Center due to complications from the coronavirus on Dec. 19 before being transferred to the Ochsner LSU Health ICU on Dec. 23 as his condition worsened.  

"The family appreciates the numerous prayers and support over the past days but asks for privacy during this difficult and unexpected time. A statement from the family along with funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time," his family told the Monroe News-Star, which was first to report the news.  

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The Louisiana Republican leaves behind his wife, Julia Letlow, and two children.

Luke Letlow was slated to succeed his boss, retiring Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), for whom he previously served as chief of staff, as the representative for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. 

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) shortly after the news broke offered his condolences and announced flags would be flown at half-staff on the day of Letlow’s funeral.  

“It is with heavy hearts that @FirstLadyOfLA and I offer our condolences to Congressman-elect Luke Letlow’s family on his passing after a battle with COVID-19. #lagov,” he tweeted. 

“Louisiana has lost more than 7,300 people to COVID-19 since March, and each one of them leaves a tremendous hole in our state. #lagov. I have ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of Congressman-elect Letlow’s funeral. #lagov,” he added. 

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Louisiana's congressional delegation, including House Republican Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseBiden's COVID, border policies prove he's serious about neither Republican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC Merrick Garland is right to prioritize domestic terrorism, but he'll need a bigger boat MORE; Sens. Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC Republicans, please save your party Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra MORE (R) and John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R); and Reps. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondPadilla has 'big Chuck Taylors to fill' in replacing Harris Bottom line Biden pledges action on guns amid resistance MORE (D), Ralph Abraham (R), Garret GravesGarret Neal GravesFriends and colleagues mourn loss of Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow dies of COVID-19 House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE (R), Clay HigginsGlen (Clay) Clay HigginsREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results GOP lawmaker, CNN anchor battle over lack of evidence for fraud claims Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results MORE (R) and Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonCassidy defends vote to proceed with Trump trial after GOP backlash Cassidy calls Trump attorneys 'disorganized' after surprise vote House Democrats renew push for checks on presidential pardons MORE (R), also expressed their condolences.

"We are devastated to hear of Luke Letlow's passing. Luke had such a positive spirit, and a tremendously bright future ahead of him. He was looking forward to serving the people of Louisiana in Congress, and we were excited to welcome him to our delegation where he was ready to make an even greater impact on our state and our Nation," they said in a statement.  

"More than anything, Luke was a loving husband, father, brother, and son, and his family – like so many others who have been affected by this evil disease – needs our prayers."

Updated at 10:30 p.m.