He is survived by two young children and his wife, Julia Barnhill Letlow, the news star reported.
State and national political leaders mourned him Tuesday evening.
“COVID-19 took us Congressman-elect Letlow way too soon,” said Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) in shared a statement on Twitter. “I am broken that he will not be able to serve our people as the US representative, but I am even more devastated for his loving family.”
A native of Start, La., A town of approximately 900 people, Letlow graduated from Louisiana Tech University before starting his political career working with Bobby Jindal (R), who later became a United States Congressman and then Governor of Louisiana, reported the news star. When Abraham was elected to Congress in 2015, Letlow joined him as chief of staff.
In the race to succeed Abraham, Letlow was the establishment Republican who received the support of his former boss and greatly outperformed his opponents. the Associated Press reported. He received a majority of the vote in a nine-candidate field in November, then defeated Republican MP Lance Harris in a December 5 runoff.
However, photos on his Twitter page show that he sometimes wore inconsistent masks during the campaign covering his face speaking at meet-and-greets, but also indoors without a mask on in rooms of mask-free residents. At a candidate forum in October, Letlow called on the state to ease the pandemic Restrictions, say“We are now in a place where we are in real danger if we don’t open up our economy.”
After his symptoms worsened earlier this month, Letlow was first admitted to St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, where he delivered hopeful news on December 21st. tweet that he was “confident” in his recovery. Two days later, he was rushed to a Shreveport Hospital and taken to an intensive care unit, where he was reportedly treated with remdesivir and steroids a statement from his office.
He was in critical condition this week but showed signs of recovery. GE Ghali, Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport, said the lawyer. But on Tuesday he suffered a “heart event” and died, Ghali said. When asked if any underlying conditions could have contributed to his death, Ghali said, “None. Everything related to Covid ” the lawyer reported.
Letlow’s death comes as coronavirus cases and deaths rise in Louisiana. On Tuesday, the state reported more than 3,900 new cases and 61 deaths The Washington Post, 185 percent more than the average number of deaths in the past seven days. In total, the state had more than 304,000 cases and 7,397 deaths.
After Letlow’s death, Jindal recalled his former coworker’s “passion for service” during the years they had worked together.
“I met Luke when he was a student and spent countless hours with him in his truck driving the back streets of Louisiana.” Jindal wrote on twitter. “His passion for service has been constant throughout his life.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Also noted Letlow’s dedication to public service.
“Congressman-elect Letlow was a ninth generation Louisian who fought passionately for his point of view and dedicated his life to public service,” Pelosi said in a statement. “As the House mourns the death of Congressman-elect Letlow, our grief is compounded by the grief of so many other families who have also suffered lives shortened by this terrible virus.”
Louisiana’s congressional delegation, including the House minority whip, Steve Scalise (R), issued a joint statement praising Letlow’s “positive spirit”.
“We are devastated when we hear of Luke Letlow’s death. Luke had such a positive spirit and an incredibly bright future ahead of him, ”the statement said. “First and foremost, Luke was a loving husband, father, brother and son, and his family – like so many others affected by this nasty disease – need our prayers.”
Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), The minority chairman of the House of Representatives, said he spoke to Letlow’s family after his death.
“Our hearts break tonight as we process the news of the death of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow.” he wrote on Twitter. “I spoke to his wife Julia. Judy and I are praying for her and her two young children at this terrible time. “