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Carter And Peterson Head To Runoff In 2nd District; Letlow Wins 5th District Outright

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Two longtime Democratic politicians from New Orleans, State Sens. Troy Carter and Karen Carter Peterson, will square off in next month's runoff to fill the seat vacated by former congressman Cedric Richmond.

Carter and Peterson, both representing the New Orleans metro area, finished first and second in Saturday's special election, winning 36 percent and 23 percent respectively. But since no candidate topped 50 percent of the vote, the two Democrats will advance to a one-on-one showdown in Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which covers nearly all of New Orleans and stretches to parts of Baton Rouge. Democrat Gary Chambers, the Baton Rouge-area activist, performed surprisingly well, finishing third with 21 percent.

In the other special election held Saturday, Republican Julia Letlow, the widow of former Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, cleared the field in the 5th District, winning with 65 percent. Letlow's husband died in January from COVID-19, just days before he was to be sworn into office. The 5th District covers most of northeastern Louisiana.

The two special elections held in Louisiana Saturday officially kickoff the 2022 midterm election cycle for Congress and both were low-turnout contests.The 2nd District showdown between Carter and Peterson guarantees the seat will be held by a Democrat; the other five congressional seats in Louisiana are led by Republicans.

Carter Vs. Peterson

The matchup between Carter and Peterson will feature two of the state's most prominent Democrats.

Peterson, whose state senate district covers most of Uptown in New Orleans, was the first woman elected to chair the Louisiana Democratic Party. She's also been endorsed by Stacy Abrams andEmily's List, and would be the first Black woman in Louisiana ever elected to Congress.

Carter, who represents Algiers in New Orleans and parts of Jefferson Parish, also scored major establishment endorsements heading into the contest, including Cedric Richmond, who vacated the seat to take a position in the Biden White House.

This isn't the first time Carter and Peterson have ran against each other for the 2nd District seat. Both ran in 2006. Peterson ended up qualifying for the runoff that year but lost to William Jefferson.

More than 15 candidates qualified for the ballot in Saturday's 2nd District special election.

Letlow Wins Easily

Julia Letlow emerged as the heavy favorite in the race after many prominent Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, endorsed her to fill the seat that her late husband had won. Luke Letlow, a former chief of staff to the retiring 5th District congressman, Ralph Abraham, was only 41 years old when he died from COVID-19 and became the first elected federal official to die from the virus.

Julia Letlow will become the 31st Republican woman serving in this term's Congress, a record for the GOP.

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