2 New Orleans Democratic state senators, Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson, will meet in runoff
♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com
NEW ORLEANS (CFP) — Republican Julia Letlow has won a special election for Louisiana’s 5th District U.S. House seat less than three months after her husband, Luke, died of COVID-19 complications before he could be sworn into the post.
In another special election Saturday in the 2nd District, Democratic state senators Troy Carter and Karen Carter-Peterson advanced to an April 24 runoff in a contest to replace Cedric Richmond, who resigned to take a job as the White House public engagement director in the Biden administration.
In the 5th District race, Letlow, 40, a former external affairs official at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, took 65% of the vote, besting 11 other candidates in the all-party race.
Coming in second place at 27% was the lone Democrat in the contest, Candy Christophe, a businesswoman and social worker from Alexandria.
Letlow’s husband, Luke, won the seat in November but died December 29 from COVID complications, days before he was scheduled to be sworn into Congress.
She will be just the third woman to represent a Louisiana district in the House, ending a 30-year drought of female representation.
The 5th District includes parts of 24 parishes in the state’s northeast corner and along the Mississippi border.
In the 2nd District — which includes most of New Orleans and part of Baton Rouge, along with the River Parishes between — Carter and Carter-Peterson led a field of 15 candidates, with Carter finishing first with 36% and Carter-Peterson with 23%.
However, the third-place finisher,Democrat Gary Chambers, a community activist from Baton Rouge, was just 1,500 votes behind Carter-Peterson.
Carter had support from much of the Democratic establishment and major unions, while Carter-Peterson drew support from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and from liberal grassroots group such as Democracy for America and Our Revolution, a group spun out of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.
But Chambers was competing for those same voters and came in ahead of Carter-Peterson in Orleans Parish, the largest in the district.