Julia Letlow announces run for Congress

Julia Letlow, the widow of U.S. Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, will run for the 5th Congressional District seat her husband was unable to fill because of his COVID-19 death Dec. 29, The News Star reports

“Everything in my life and in my marriage has prepared me for this moment,” she said in a statement. “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.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has called a special election for March 20 to fill the seat, which came open after former Congressman Ralph Abraham, R-Alto, didn’t seek reelection to honor a three-term limit pledge. Qualifying for the election is Jan. 20-22.

Luke Letlow, 41, who had served as Abraham’s chief of staff, died Dec. 29 from COVID-19 complications at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport. He would have been sworn into office Jan. 3.

Julia Letlow, 41, a Republican from Start in Richland Parish, is an executive at UL-Monroe and was a finalist for the ULM president’s job last fall. She and her late husband have two children—Jeremiah, 3, and Jacqueline, 1.

Democrat Sandra “Candy” Christophe of Alexandria, who finished third in the Nov. 3 primary election and missed the Dec. 5 runoff election by fewer than 500 votes, announced last week she will run again.

Allen Guillory Sr., R-Opelousas, who owns a trucking company and who earned 7% in the Nov. 3 primary, is also making another bid. “I want to be able to be an example that if you work hard you can accomplish anything,” Guillory says.

A host of other Republicans had been waiting to see if Julia Letlow would run for the seat before committing to the race. State Sen. Stewart Cathey, R-West Monroe; State Rep. Michael Echols, R-Monroe; State Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Pineville; and Ouachita Parish Police Juror Scotty Robinson told USA Today Network they won’t run in deference to Letlow. Read the full story