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Letlow’s widow intends to run for Congress

Dr. Julia Letlow, the wife of the late Luke Letlow, announced Thursday that she intends to run for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional Seat. Her husband won the election to fill the seat on Dec. 5, but passed away due to COVID-19 complications on Dec. 29.

Letlow, a native of Monroe, is a mother and professional in education who has dedicated her life to promote and advocate for higher education in Louisiana. Letlow made the announcement during an interview at KWCL-FM in Oak Grove, the same place her husband Luke announced his successful bid for Congress last March.

“Luke and I have been best friends and a team for the last eight years, and we always believed that you have to work hard for your dreams and often that requires stepping out and taking a leap of faith,” she said. “During Luke’s campaign for Congress last year, Luke and I traveled to every corner of Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District — from Bastrop to Bunkie to Bogalusa — and all points between. I met many of the hardworking people of the district and listened to the dreams and ideas they have for our district.

“Everything in my life and in my marriage has prepared me for this moment. My motivation is the passion Luke and I both shared: to better this region that we called home and to leave it a better place for our children and future generations. We live in one of the most poverty stricken districts in the United States, but God has blessed us with amazing resources: rich soil, the mighty Mississippi, and strong educational institutions – all that can be used to elevate this district out of poverty. I am running to continue the mission Luke started — to stand up for our Christian values, to fight for our rural agricultural communities, and to deliver real results to move our state forward.”

Letlow graduated from the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM), with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in speech communication. After completing her doctorate in communication from the University of South Florida, she returned to ULM as the ombudsperson and special projects coordinator for the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs where she contributed to the development of the university’s strategic plan.

Letlow served as the executive director of external affairs and strategic communications at ULM from 2018 to 2019, and prior served as the director of marketing and communications for the university. She previously served at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans as the director of education, director of resident patient safety and quality improvement and a clinical instructor of anesthesiology. She has also served as an instructor and teaching associate at ULM, Tulane University, and the University of South Florida.

Letlow is raising her two young children in Start, and they worship at Covenant Presbyterian Church (EPC) in Monroe.