Following the passing of Luke Letlow, Louisiana gov. will call for March 20 special election

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 8:21 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The passing of Louisiana’s 5th District Representative-elect Luke Letlow leaves that seat in need of a replacement. Letlow was set to be sworn into Congress on January 3. The office of Governor John Bel Edwards’ told the Gray Television Washington News Bureau Wednesday Edwards will call for a special election on March 20 for the now-vacant Louisiana fifth district seat.

That means the District will go without representation for the first months of the 117th Congress and the incoming Biden administration. University of Louisiana Monroe political science professor John Sutherlin says not having a vote in Congress could be difficult for the 5th District as these branches of government start fresh.

According to Edwards’ office, the qualifying period for this election will begin in January, the special primary will take place in March, and if no one gets above 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will take place soon after. Sutherlin says that compounds this personal tragedy with a political one.

“You can provide constituent services, and that’s certainly one of the most important functions of a congressman. But the idea of being able to have representation, particularly with a new Congress, a new president, I think that’s something that puts the 5th District at a disadvantage,” said Sutherlin.

The Governor’s office says this special election is going to take place on the same day as the 2nd District’s special election. That is the seat Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) is leaving open as he joins the Biden Administration. That leaves two out of six Louisiana Congressional districts without representation to start the year.

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