Louisiana Republican Julia Letlow won the special election in the state’s 5th Congressional District in the race to replace her late husband, former Rep.-elect Luke Letlow (R), who died from COVID-19 complications in December.
According to election results recorded by The New York Times, Letlow won a resounding 64.5 percent of the vote.
Letlow said in a statement "this is an incredible moment and it is truly hard to put into words."
"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. I am humbled that you would entrust me with the honor of your vote and the privilege to serve you in Congress. A simple thank you doesn’t fully encapsulate the depth of my gratitude," she said.
Letlow, who was backed in the race by former President Trump, bested at least eight other Republicans and won the seat outright on Saturday, avoiding a runoff.
Louisiana law states that all candidates for a seat compete in the same primary regardless of party, with the race going to a runoff if no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote.
Following her win, National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerSupreme Court declines GOP challenge against House proxy voting Mask rules spark political games and a nasty environment in the House Swalwell slams House Republican for touting funding in bill she voted down MORE congratulated Letlow.
“Congratulations to Julia Letlow on her victory. Julia has overcome tremendous adversity and is an inspiration to all of us. Julia will be a powerful, conservative voice for the people of Louisiana and I look forward to working with her in Congress."
Letlow won the seat in part due to vocal support from Trump, who won the district by 30 points in 2016 and 2020. The former president endorsed Letlow earlier this month and urged supporters to get to the polls earlier Saturday to back her.
“Julia Letlow is 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!” Trump said in a Saturday statement.
Letlow’s election gives Republicans an extra vote in the House, where Democrats have one of the narrowest majorities in modern history.
House Democrats have thus far been mostly unified in the new Congress, but Letlow’s vote in the lower chamber will give them even less room for error ahead of votes on issues such as immigration, infrastructure and more.
Updated 10:51 p.m.
— Jordan Williams contributed to this report