Yet another Christian woman will join the U.S. House of Representatives. Republican Julia Letlow won a special election in Louisiana on Saturday to fill the seat of her late husband, Luke Letlow, who died from COVID-19. He had won in Nobember but died before being sworn in.
Letlow received 65 percent of the vote, according to the Louisiana Department of State. Democrat Sandra Christophe received 27 percent of the vote. The race featured nine other Republicans, including one who drew 5 percent of the vote.
When she announced she would seek to fill her husband’s seat, Ludlow spoke of her Christian values.
“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,” she said in a statement.
“This is an incredible moment, and it is truly hard to put into words,” Letlow said. “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 Fifth 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.”
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Letlow in March and boosted her again during the election on Saturday.
The news is important for Congressional Republicans after Democrats have moved to overturn a Republican woman’s victory in Iowa. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an Iowa Republican, won her seat by six votes and was certified by the Iowa Secretary of State after numerous recounts. Miller-Meeks, who is also a Christian, is already serving at the Capitol. Democrats in Congress say they have the power to do a recount themselves and are confident they can find the necessary votes to overturn the election and seat the loser, state Democratic Sen. Rita Hart.
That makes Letlow’s victory all the more important as Democrats have just a 9 vote majority in the House, 222 to 213. A swing of 5 seats would change control of the House to Republicans.
Luke Letlow died just days before he was to be sworn into office from a heart attack that was “likely related to thromboembolic phenomena caused by COVID-19,” the doctor in charge of the hospital where he was being treated confirmed in an email. He was 41 years old. Julia Letlow announced in January that she would run for the seat vacated by her husband.
“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,” she said at the time.
Letlow’s victory marks the first successful post-presidential Trump endorsement of a congressional candidate. The former president has also endorsed Republican candidates in five U.S. Senate races and one other U.S. House race.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) commended Letlow on her victory, saying that she “offered a message that united Louisiana voters and defied predictions by winning this special election outright with a clear majority – a remarkable accomplishment among a field of 12 candidates.
As @jbletlow succeeds her late husband and our friend, Luke, we look forward to welcoming her to Congress, where her expertise in higher education will help us continue to deliver solutions for America. #LA05
— Kevin McCarthy (@kevinomccarthy) March 21, 2021
“As Julia succeeds her late husband and our friend, Luke, we look forward to welcoming her to Congress, where her expertise in higher education will help us continue to deliver solutions for America,” McCarthy said in a statement.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, also weighed in on her accomplishment.
“She has continued to exemplify strength, determination, and tenacity in the wake of a terrible tragedy. I know that these same characteristics that got her through the last few months will make her an excellent advocate for Louisiana in Washington, D.C.,” Bel Edwards said.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice