|Member-elect of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 5th district
Died before assuming office
|Preceded by||Ralph Abraham|
Luke Joshua Letlow
December 6, 1979
Monroe, Louisiana, U.S.
|Died||December 29, 2020 (aged 41)|
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
|Cause of death||Complications of COVID-19|
|Education||Louisiana Tech University (BS)|
Luke Joshua Letlow (December 6, 1979 – December 29, 2020) was an American politician from the state of Louisiana. A Republican, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana's 5th congressional district in 2020 but died from complications caused by COVID-19 before he could take office in the 117th Congress. Before his election to Congress, Letlow served as chief of staff to Representative Ralph Abraham. A special election for the seat will be held on March 20, 2021.
Letlow was raised in the unincorporated community of Start, east of Monroe, and was the youngest son of Dianne and Johnny Letlow. He graduated from Ouachita Christian High School and earned a Bachelor of Science in computer information systems from Louisiana Tech University in 2003. As a student at Louisiana Tech, Letlow was an intern for John Cooksey in 2000 when Cooksey represented Louisiana's 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He served as chairman of the Louisiana Tech College Republicans in 2001 and of the Louisiana Federation of College Republicans in 2002.
Letlow worked for Bobby Jindal during Jindal's tenure in the United States House of Representatives for Louisiana's 1st congressional district as his congressional district director from 2005 to 2008, and during Jindal's first term as governor of Louisiana as director of intergovernmental affairs from 2008 to 2010. He then worked as director of government and community affairs for QEP Resources, an energy company based in Denver. Letlow returned to Louisiana in 2014 to serve as campaign manager for Ralph Abraham during his election for Louisiana's 5th congressional district. He served as Abraham's chief of staff during his three-term tenure.
On March 9, 2020, after Abraham honored his pledge not to serve more than three terms, Letlow announced his candidacy. Abraham publicly endorsed him concurrent with Letlow's announcement. In the nonpartisan blanket primary on November 3, Letlow finished in first place with 33% of the vote, while State Representative Lance Harris, a fellow Republican, finished second with 17%. Letlow won the December 5 runoff election with 62% of the vote. The district is Louisiana's largest by area, covering most of 24 parishes, and includes Alexandria and Monroe, the population hubs, and Opelousas in Acadiana and Bogalusa in the Florida Parishes. During his campaign, he wore a mask only sporadically, and was photographed speaking indoors to constituents when masks were not being worn by him or those gathered. In October, he had encouraged Louisiana officials to relax pandemic restrictions, warning, "We're now at a place if we do not open our economy, we’re in real danger."
On December 18, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Letlow announced that he had tested positive for the virus. He was hospitalized in Monroe. After his condition deteriorated, he was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport on December 23. On December 29, Letlow died of complications of COVID-19 at the age of 41, five days before he was scheduled to be sworn into office. The hospital reported that he had no underlying conditions when admitted but died in the ICU after suffering a "cardiac event" and could not be resuscitated.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-staff on the day of Letlow's funeral. He also scheduled the special election to fill Letlow's vacancy for March 20, 2021, with an April runoff if needed.
... Letlow, who turns 41 on Sunday ...'
The following statement was issued by [Andrew] Bautsch: 'Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, 41, passed away this evening at Ochsner-LSU Health Shreveport due to complications from COVID-19.'
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-01-06 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=65761586