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Julia Letlow, whose husband died of Covid-19 before being sworn in to Congress, will be running for the seat.

Julia Letlow, the wife of elected representative Luke Letlow, a Republican from Louisiana who died of complications from Covid-19 days before he was sworn in, will seek the open seat in an upcoming special election.

Ms. Letlow will run as a Republican to represent Louisiana’s Fifth District, which covers the conservative northeastern part of the state. Her husband died on December 29 at the age of 41 after suffering from “heart disease” while hospitalized with the virus. His death came just weeks after winning the seat vacated by his former boss, Representative Ralph Abraham.

“Everything in my life and in my marriage has prepared me for this moment,” Ms. Letlow wrote in a statement Thursday. “My motivation is the passion that Luke and I both shared: to improve this region we have called home and to leave it a better place for our children and future generations.

Mr Letlow, a longtime Republican aide, supported social distancing measures and the wearing of masks during his campaign, though photos from his social media accounts also showed him campaigning indoors without sometimes mask. He also advocated for the relaxation of some coronavirus restrictions when infections declined over the summer.

Ms. Letlow, who lives in Richland Parish, is currently Director of External Relations and Strategic Communications at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

His entry into the non-partisan election on March 20 was widely anticipated and could discourage other Republicans who had considered a race from entering the race.

She is likely to face Allen Guillory Sr., a Republican from Opelousas, who scored less than 10 percent in the November 3 election, and Sandra “Candy” Christophe, a Democrat from Alexandria who announced last week. that she would present herself.

Ms. Letlow has been active in Louisiana Republican politics for years and was selected for her academic work, in part, to provide “insight into strategies and alliances” that would be useful to the school in its interactions with elected officials. , according to his biography online. .

“I am running to continue the mission that Luke began – defending our Christian values, fighting for our rural farming communities and delivering real results to move our state forward,” she said in her statement.