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Democrats Face Runoff in Louisiana Special Elections, Julia Letlow in House

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Democrats are headed to a runoff in the special election for Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, while Julia Letlow has won the Louisiana House seat that her husband died before he was able to fill.

The special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by Democrat Cedric Richmond is headed to an April 24 runoff since none of the 15 candidates on the ballot received more than 50 percent of the vote.

However, the 2nd District seat will certainly stay Democrat both of the top vote-getters—Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson—are Democratic state senators from New Orleans. Carter secured 36.4 percent of the vote, while Carter Peterson (no relation) had won 22.9 percent, according to The New York Times.

#LA02 we did it. I could not be here without you. Our campaign has always been about focusing on the needs of the people and will continue.

We’ve made it to the run-off; let’s continue to fight together for change. pic.twitter.com/WnsLXHUhzb

— Senator Troy Carter (@troyc4Congress) March 21, 2021

“Our campaign has always been about focusing on the needs of the people and will continue,” Carter said in his most recent tweet. “We’ve made it to the run-off; let’s continue to fight together for change.”

“Thank you #LA02 Let’s do this! #HERstory,” Carter Peterson tweeted.

The winner of the April runoff will take the seat Richmond vacated earlier this year to take a job in President Joe Biden’s administration.

Thank you #LA02 Let’s do this! #HERstory pic.twitter.com/w55CVasRGT

— KarenCarterPeterson (@TeamKCP) March 21, 2021

Meanwhile, Letlow, a first-time candidate, handily won Saturday’s special election in Louisiana’s 5th congressional district with more than 64 percent of the vote. She will make history as the first Republican woman to represent the state in Congress.

The university administrator held off 15 other contenders to capture the seat that her late husband Luke Letlow won in last year’s election. However, he never took his seat of Congress because he died of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 41, just days before he was due to be sworn in.

Julia Letlow announced her candidacy in January, quickly becoming the front-runner with the backing of former president Donald Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as well as House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. By the end of February, she had raised almost $700,000 from fundraising, far more than any other candidate in the race.

“This is an incredible moment, and it is truly hard to put into words,” she said in a statement following her victory. “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.”

Louisiana’s Democratic governor John Bel Edwards congratulated her, noting that it must be a proud yet bittersweet day for the family.

“I will continue to keep her in my prayers just as she has continued to exemplify strength, determination and tenacity in the wake of a terrible tragedy,” he said in a statement. “I know that these same characteristics that got her through the last few months will make her an excellent advocate for Louisiana in Washington, D.C.”

Louisiana’s elections are known as “jungle primaries”—all candidates regardless of their party compete against each other on the same ballot. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the top two candidates advance to a runoff election.

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