Louisiana’s all-Republican congressional runoff could get personal

    Republicans Luke Letlow and Lance Harris will have Louisiana’s political stage almost to themselves as they sprint toward a Dec. 5 runoff election for 5th Congressional District seat in what will be the state’s highest-profile race on the ballot. 

    But as the two Republicans square off with few differences on policy, the race could turn personal as each looks for ways to separate himself as they seek to replace popular Republican Congressman Ralph Abraham, who didn’t run for reelection after limiting himself to three terms. The News Star reports. 

    Letlow finished first among a field of nine in Tuesday’s primary election with 33%, while Harris edged Alexandria Democrat Sandra “Candy” Christophe by fewer than 500 votes to make the runoff with 17%. Christophe says she wants “to make sure the count is completely accurate” before conceding, but if the vote stands it will be Republican vs. Republican. 

    The district is the largest geographically in the state. Alexandria and Monroe are the population hubs, but the boundaries dip into Acadiana to include Opelousas and into the Florida parishes to take in Bogalusa.

    “I think the only path my opponent believes exists is to go negative,” says Letlow, 40, who had been Abraham’s chief of staff and has the congressman’s backing in the race. “I’m not going to let anyone distort my record. I’ll absolutely defend myself if I’m attacked.”

    Harris, 59, a state representative and businessman from Alexandria, says that while Letlow is a “fine young man,” he’s been on a political payroll for most of his career. Read the full story.