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Julia Letlow sworn in as House member after winning election to replace late husband

Julia Letlow sworn in as House member after winning election to replace late husband
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Rep. Julia Letlow (R-La.) was sworn into office on Wednesday after winning a special election to replace her late husband, Luke Letlow, who died of COVID-19 complications before his term was set to begin this year.

With Letlow now officially a member of the House, Democrats' majority is slightly thinner with 218 seats over Republicans' 212. Going forward, Democrats will only be able to afford up to two defections and still pass legislation on their own without any support from Republicans.

Letlow's swearing-in also comes a week after the death of Rep. Alcee HastingsAlcee (Judge) Lamar HastingsHouse Democrats unveil .9 billion bill to boost security after insurrection Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority Democrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor MORE (D-Fla.), which further narrowed Democrats' House majority.

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During a ceremonial swearing-in with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate House extends proxy voting to July On The Money: IRS to start monthly payments of child tax credit July 15 | One-fourth of Americans took financial hits in 2020: Fed MORE (D-Calif.) just off the House floor, Letlow's young son, Jeremiah, drew attention on social media for mimicking his mother raising her right hand and for his bow tie.

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Letlow won a crowded GOP primary on March 20 to fill the vacancy left by her late husband and secured an endorsement from former President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE, who won the solidly GOP district handily.

Multiple other House seats still remain vacant. Former Rep. Ron WrightRon WrightHouse Democrats unveil .9 billion bill to boost security after insurrection Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority Unsuccessful anti-Trump Republican candidate: GOP 'not living up to this moment' MORE (R-Texas) died of COVID-19 complications in February, while former Democratic Reps. Deb HaalandDeb HaalandHaaland makes endorsement in race for her old House seat Senate panel advances Biden's deputy Interior pick Interior secretary approves new Cherokee constitution providing citizenship rights for freedmen MORE (N.M.), Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeSunrise Movement endorses Nina Turner in special election for Ohio House seat Fudge violated the Hatch Act, watchdog finds Carter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority MORE (Ohio) and Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondCarter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority Biden set to flex clemency powers Democrats confront difficult prospects for midterms MORE (La.) resigned to take roles in the Biden administration.

All of those vacancies, as well as the one left by Hastings, aren't expected to be filled by special elections for months.