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GOP’s Julia Letlow elected to House seat initially won by late husband who died of COVID-19

Republican Julia Letlow won a special election Saturday in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, capturing more than 50 percent of the vote, which allowed her to avoid a runoff. The seat Letlow was vying for was won by her late husband, Luke Letlow, last year, shortly before he died of complications from COVID-19 in December. He was never sworn in to Congress.

“What was born out of the terrible tragedy of losing my husband, Luke, has become my mission in his honor to carry the torch and serve the good people of Louisiana’s 5th district,” Letlow said in a statement after her victory.

Elsewhere in Louisiana, Democratic State Senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson qualified for a runoff vote on April 24 that will determine who replaces former Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) in the state’s 2nd Congressional District. Richmond is now a senior adviser to President Biden.

Carter, who has Richmond’s endorsement, won 36 percent of the vote and Petersen picked up 23 percent in the safely blue district. The runoff may be hard-fought, The New York Times writes, “given the intensity and history” of the candidates’ political rivalry. Read more at The New York Times and NBC News.

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