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Those who knew Congressman-elect Luke Letlow reflect on untimely passing

Published: Jan. 1, 2021 at 5:54 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 1, 2021 at 5:55 PM CST
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ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. (WAFB) - Many people across Louisiana and the U.S. are remembering late Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, who died from complications to COVID-19, not as a politician but as a friend, husband, and father.

Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal remembered Letlow as a go-getter, someone with tenacity but as a person who cared about serving other people, not climbing the political ladder.

“Luke never met a stranger, he loved meeting people,” Jindal said. He was just so friendly and outgoing. Certainly, he had his political beliefs, he was a conservative Republican, he was a lifelong Christian but more important to him than ideology was actually helping people.”

RELATED: Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow dies after being hospitalized with coronavirus

Letlow was set to replace his boss Rep. Ralph Abraham (R - Monroe) before he tragically passed from complications related to Covid-19. Doctors say he did not suffer from any preexisting conditions.

“I was so excited for him,” Jindal said. “He and I talked and he was so excited about serving his district.”

Mike Smith, a longtime friend of Letlow, said it is a job he was born to do, spending his life working to serve the people of District 5.

“What I found most interesting about Luke was the fact he really cared about people. He was more interested in knowing where they worked and where the family was from and, you know what they did to sustain themselves and how they were maybe in a related and some instances. He was more interested in the people part of politics than the petty part of politics,” Smith said.

RELATED: LDH: Wednesday’s 6,754 COVID-19 cases is the single highest daily count reported, without backlog, during pandemic

The news of Letlow’s death was unexpected. Jindal said he expected his friend to recover. His death is now another tragic reminder tomorrow is not guaranteed.

“It reminds me of is life is so precious,” Jindal said. “Life is so fragile and no day should be taken for granted. Hopefully, this reminds us all to go to your kids, the people in your life and tell them you love them. It may be Covid, it may be cancer, it could be a car accident, we don’t know.”

“He’s going to be incredibly missed by so many, not just by his family that will miss him because of the dad, the husband, but we’re going to miss him because of what he would have meant to us in congress, which is a servant of the people,” Smith said.

Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to call a special election to fill the now-vacant congressional seat.

Rep. Ralph Abraham is asking Congress to allow his staff to remain at their offices until a new congressman takes office.

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