Rep. Julia Letlow joins ranks on Capitol Hill after winning her late husband’s seat

Julia Letlow is sworn in to Congress
Julia Letlow is sworn in to Congress
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 3:43 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - After a three-month gap without representation, Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District has a vote in Congress once again. It has already been an emotional year for the Rep. Julia Letlow (R-LA) who is filling the seat her late husband Luke was meant to hold before passing away due to COVID complications in January.

With one hand on the Bible and one in the air, Letlow became the newest member of the 117th Congress Wednesday.

“I could just feel (Luke’s) sense of pride. I know that he’s looking down on me today. I know he is excited and happy for the district,” said Letlow.

With Luke’s parents, her parents, and kids on hand, Letlow now begins work for a district that went without representation for three months to begin this Congress.

“Our dreams became shared and that’s really just to leave this a better place for our children, for your children, for future generations,” said Letlow.

Letlow officially received her committee assignments Wednesday, one on the Committee on Education and Labor, which fits her background in education, and another on the Committee on Agriculture, a crucial assignment for the agriculture reliant 5th district.

“I’m excited to get in there and represent our farmers, ranchers and loggers and make sure their needs are being met,” said Letlow.

She begins her unexpected career as an elected official as her family grieves the premature loss of a loved one. She unfortunately knows loss well, having lost a brother years ago. But she says she is moving forward, embarking on this new work as a widow with a family in tow.

“I’m going to take it day by day, you know, you might see me...I might have two little ducklings following behind me. I think they’re going to be better for this process seeing their mom continue to move forward in the face of tragedy, continuing to choose hope, and to serve others,” said Letlow.

Louisiana’s 5th District is now covered on Capitol Hill, but the same cannot be said for the 2nd Congressional District which has also been vacant since January. A runoff in that special election is being held to fill Cedric Richmond’s seat later this month.

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