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Julia Letlow, the widow of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, announced on Thursday that she’ll run in a special Louisiana election to fill his empty seat.
“Everything in my life and in my marriage has prepared me for this moment,” she said in a statement reported by the Monroe News-Star.
“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,” she added. “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.”
Julia Letlow lost her husband to COVID-19 complications on December 29, less than a week before he was set to be sworn into office as Louisiana’s newest member of Congress. He was 41, and the couple has two children.
Congress members and Louisiana state officials expressed condolences after Luke Letlow’s sudden death, and his friends said he was “destined for big things.”
A Republican, Luke Letlow won the December runoff election for the 5th Congressional District in the red state with 62% of the vote, according to The New York Times. He would’ve replaced outgoing Rep. Ralph Abraham, who he previously worked for as chief of staff.
Following Luke Letlow’s death, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a special election would take place to fill his vacant seat. A primary is scheduled for March 20, followed by a general election on April 24.
Julia Letlow works as an executive at the University of Louisiana Monroe. She did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
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