Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow has died from COVID-19 complications. He was 41-years-old.
According to the Monroe News-Star, a family friend confirmed Letlow died at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport. On December 18, Letlow announced he tested positive for COVID-19 and was initially quarantining at home. He was later admitted to St. Francis and eventually transferred to Shreveport.
Letlow won the 5th Congressional District and would have succeeded his former boss Congressman Ralph Abraham.
Governor John Bel Edwards said, “It is with heavy hearts that Donna and I offer our condolences to Congressman-elect Luke Letlow’s family on his passing after a battle with COVID-19.”
Edwards went on to say that Letlow felt a calling from a young age to serve the people of his home state, “working behind the scenes for former Governor Bobby Jindal and serving as chief of staff to Congressman Ralph Abraham, who he was recently elected to succeed.”
Edwards said, Letlow was taken too soon. “I am heartbroken that he will not be able to serve our people as a U.S. Representative, but I am even more devastated for his loving family. I hope all of the people of Louisiana will join Donna and me in praying for Congressman-elect Letlow’s family, especially his wife Julia and their two children, his many friends and the people of the 5th Congressional District,” Edwards said.
Governor Edwards has ordered flags to be flown at half staff on the day of Congressman-elect Letlow’s funeral.
On Twitter, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said, “Our hearts are heavy for the loss of Congressman-Elect Luke Letlow, a man who dedicated his short life to the betterment of our state and nation. Our prayers are with his wife Julia, their children, and their families, and as a state, we mourn his passing.”
Senate President, Page Cortez said: “Luke Letlow was a bright and emerging leader in the State of Louisiana. He had the heart of a public servant and a true love for his community, state, and country. He was kind and passionate about helping others. But more than anything, he was a wonderful father, husband, and friend. His loss is a terrible tragedy on every level. Please join me as we send our deepest condolences to his wife, young children, and entire family. We pray for peace and comfort in their hearts during this difficult time.”
Former Governor Bobby Jindal posted on Twitter that he and his wife Supriya are heartbroken.
Jindal said, “We had talked in recent days about his excitement about the opportunity to serve the people of the 5th Congressional District, and his love and devotion for Julia and their kids.” Jindal said, “I first met Luke when he was still a college student, and spent countless hours with him in his truck driving the back roads of Louisiana. His passion for service has been a constant throughout his life.”
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry President and CEO Stephen Waguespack said, “Tonight, Louisiana lost a great man. A promising public servant, a loving husband and father, a Louisianan through and through. I want to extend my deepest condolences to his family and my most sincerest appreciation for having known him and the privilege of calling him a friend. Louisiana needs more men like Luke and I pray that his legacy will serve as a role model for others to follow in his footsteps.”
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Congressman Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.), Senator John Kennedy (R-La.), Congressman Clay Higgins (R-La.), and Congressman Mike Johnson (R-La.) released the following statement on the passing of Congressman-Elect Luke Letlow:
“We are devastated to hear of Luke Letlow’s passing. Luke had such a positive spirit, and a tremendously bright future ahead of him. He was looking forward to serving the people of Louisiana in Congress, and we were excited to welcome him to our delegation where he was ready to make an even greater impact on our state and our Nation. More than anything, Luke was a loving husband, father, brother, and son, and his family – like so many others who have been affected by this evil disease – needs our prayers.
“We all join in sending our strongest support to Luke’s wife Julia and their young family, and are keeping them in our prayers.”
U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy said, “Luke will be missed dearly across Louisiana, and we all mourn his passing.”
Cassidy posted this video on Twitter:
Attorney General Jeff Landry said, “Luke Letlow led an honorable life in public service to our State and our Nation. Luke was a true statesman committed to making Louisiana better. Luke’s death is a great tragedy, and Sharon’s and my prayers are with Julia and the kids.”
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., released this statement on the untimely passing of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow due to COVID-19 complications:
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow from the rural community of Start, La. I worked with him on agricultural issues when he served under former Governor Bobby Jindal and as chief of staff for Congressman Ralph Abraham whom he was to succeed. I know that as a U.S. Representative for the 5th Congressional District, he would have served the people of Louisiana and our agricultural communities extremely well.
“Please pray for the Letlow family, especially his wife and two young children. Also, please pray for everyone suffering from this virus and the many families who have lost loved ones as a result.”
Clay Schexnayder, Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives released this statement:
“We were heartbroken to hear of the passing of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow.
Luke served as Congressman Abraham’s Chief of Staff before running and winning the election to represent Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. He died on Tuesday after battling COVID-19, leaving behind his wife Julia and two very young children.
As I sit here this morning thinking about the friend we lost way too soon, I am reminded of how we should take advantage of the time we have with the ones we love. It makes me think about what’s important in life. It’s so easy to say; I’ll be right back, hold on I’m busy, or even give daddy a minute. I’ll read you a book later.
This pandemic is real and it’s taken too many of our loved ones. Too many husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons.
Luke lived his life fully and loved his family and friends with all of his heart. Pray for his family today and hold yours close. We do not know how much time we are given and should take advantage of every second we have.”