Republican Julia Letlow won a special election for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District on Saturday, less than four months after her husband Luke Letlow passed away due to complications from COVID-19.
After defeating 11 other candidates for the U.S. House seat, she became the first Republican woman from Louisiana to be elected to Congress.
“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,” Julia Letlow said in a statement.
The late Luke Letlow was elected in a runoff election on Dec. 5. Just weeks later on Dec. 18, he announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19, and the next day he was admitted to a Monroe, LA hospital.
Former President Donald Trump expressed his support for Julia Letlow on Saturday.
“Julia Letlow is outstanding and so necessary to help save our Second Amendment, at the border, and for our military and vets,” Trump said. “Louisiana, get out and vote today — she will never disappoint! Julia has my complete and total endorsement.”
And she raised over $680,000 for the race, more than all of her competitors combined.
Julie Letlow ran on issues similar to her husband such as supporting agriculture, widening broadband internet access, and supporting conservative values.
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 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.
Additionally, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) congratulated her on the 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.