Louisiana Republican Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, who was scheduled to be sworn in on Sunday, died Tuesday evening from complications related to COVID-19.
The incoming representative for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, 41, was first admitted to a hospital on Dec. 19 and later transferred to LSU Health Shreveport in critical condition and “apparently suffered a cardiac event” on Tuesday that led to his death, Shreveport Dr. G.E. Ghali told NOLA.com.
Letlow, a “9th-generation Louisianan,” won the seat with 62% of the vote in a runoff election earlier this month against state Rep. Lance Harris (R-Alexandria). He served the previous representative, Ralph Abraham, as chief of staff. Abraham retired after three terms.
The last House race of 2020 was settled last night in north Louisiana. Luke Letlow, who worked for Rep. Ralph Abraham, beat state Rep. Lance Harris in this two-R runoff. Harris won his home Rapides parish and a few other precincts, but Letlow carried much of the district. #LA05 pic.twitter.com/zrg9L0Bg4e
— J. Miles Coleman (@JMilesColeman) December 6, 2020
Letlow is survived by his wife Julia and two children. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued a statement of condolence:
It is with heavy hearts that Donna and I offer our condolences to Congressman-elect Luke Letlow’s family on his passing after a battle with COVID-19. Congressman-elect Letlow felt a calling from a young age to serve the people of his home state, working behind the scenes for former Governor Bobby Jindal and serving as chief of staff to Congressman Ralph Abraham, who he was recently elected to succeed. COVID-19 has taken Congressman-elect Letlow from us far too soon. I am heartbroken that he will not be able to serve our people as a U.S. Representative, but I am even more devastated for his loving family. I hope all of the people of Louisiana will join Donna and me in praying for Congressman-elect Letlow’s family, especially his wife Julia and their two children, his many friends, and the people of the 5th Congressional District. Louisiana has lost more than 7,300 people to COVID-19 since March, and each one of them leaves a tremendous hole in our state. I have ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on the day of Congressman-elect Letlow’s funeral.
Letlow’s passing has inspired his friends, family and acquaintances to share sympathetic messages and fond memories of the young father of two on social media, highlighting Letlow’s life and accomplishments before he was elected to serve his home state in Washington, D.C.
The “ninth-generation Louisianian,” according to his LinkedIn profile, was the youngest son of Dianne and Johnny Letlow and grandson to the late Mr. and Mrs. John Letlow of Start and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Taylor of Start.
Letlow and his wife both attended Ouachita Christian High School in Monroe, La. Letlow went on to Louisiana Tech University, where he served as president of College Republicans and interned for former Louisiana state Rep. John Cooksey and later became his driver, according to the Monroe News-Star.
He graduated from Louisiana Tech with a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems.
100% Fed Up sends its continued prayers and condolences to the Letlow family.