Luke Letlow has been elected to represent Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District, defeating state representative and fellow Republican Lance Harris.
After earning the most votes in the Nov. 3 primary, Letlow cruised to victory in Saturday’s runoff election, securing 62 percent of the vote and defeating Harris by 24 points.
Letlow, who previously worked as a lobbyist, campaign manager and congressional aide, is replacing his former boss, Rep. Ralph Abraham. Abraham is retiring from Congress after serving three terms, living up to a promise he made to voters in 2014 to limit himself to six years in office.
Letlow served as Abraham’s chief of staff and was the campaign manager for his failed gubernatorial bid in 2019. The Richland-Parish native will represent Louisiana’s largest congressional district — a predominantly rural, solidly- Republican district that covers northeastern and central Louisiana as well as portions of the River Parishes.
Ideologically, Letlow is nearly identical to his opponent. Both he and Harris are conservative Republicans aligned with businesses, gun rights groups and President Donald Trump.
Letlow set himself apart as an experienced Washington operator who could get results for a district that relies heavily on federal aid.
Letlow was the clear frontrunner from the time he declared his candidacy in March. He secured the endorsements of the last two occupants of the Congressional seat, along with 22 of the 24 sheriffs in the district. He out-fundraised Harris, bringing in twice as much money for his campaign, and secured twice as many votes in the Nov. 3 primary.
“There’s a reason that I led my opponent by more than 50,000 votes, and that’s because of my record,” Letlow said during a debate hosted by Alexandria’s KNOE. “I’ll work with anybody that’ll help us succeed, but most importantly between me and my opponent, I listened.”
Harris squeaked into the runoff with 17 percent of the vote, earning about 400 votes more than third-place finisher Sandra Cristophe.
Harris presented himself as a Washington-outsider, small-town job creator and dedicated state legislator who had proven his Conservative credentials through the bills he authored
“You can select somebody that’s done nothing but be a politically appointed government employee and a lobbyist that doesn’t have the life experiences that should go with the job as congressman,” Harris said of Letlow Thursday during a debate hosted by Alexandria’s KNOE. “Or you can select someone that’s a small businessman, that’s a farmer, that’s created hundreds of jobs and put hundreds of families to work.”