carrying the torch for her late husband Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, who died from COVID complications in December before he could take office.
“Luke and I were a team with the goal to better our state and our country,” said Letlow, who who enjoyed a landslide win in a March special election to replace our husband for the 5th District seat. “I want to thank him for paving the way for me.
“I’m here today to carry that torch forward, to be a voice for our farmers, to champion education, to help bring broadband to our rural community and to ensure our economy is thriving again.”
She and Luke’s children, Jeremiah, 3, and Jacqueline, 1, and the couple’s parents looked on from the House balcony as Letlow took her oath from Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who saluted the children and family as they watched.
Louisiana Congresswoman-elect Julia Letlow on her work, tragedy, healing, children
Letlow represents Louisiana’s 24-parish 5th Congressional District. Monroe and Alexandria are the population hubs of the district, but it meanders into Acadiana to take in part of Opelousas and into the Florida parishes all the way to Bogalusa.
Letlow is coming off a landslide win in the March 20 primary election, with 65% of the vote.
More:Louisiana sends Julia Letlow to Congress after husband Luke Letlow dies from COVID
Letlow was assigned seats on the House Agriculture and House Education and Labor committees after taking office.
“She’ll be able to make a strong impact,” Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., told USA Today Network.
Letlow said she and Luke’s children will often commute with her to Washington along with a nanny who has helped care for them during the past year.
“We’re still working out the logistics,” she said. “But we also have a lot of support from family with both sets of grandparents.”
Letlow said she isn’t intimidated by the task ahead.
“I truly believe everything has prepared me for this moment,” she said. “I’m confident and ready to serve. I’m up to the task.”
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.
Contributing: Ledyard King, USA TODAY