Julia Letlow sworn in as House member after winning election to replace late husband

Rep. Julia Letlow (R-La.) was sworn into office on Wednesday after winning a special election to replace her late husband, Luke Letlow, who died of COVID-19 complications before his term was set to begin this year.

With Letlow now officially a member of the House, Democrats’ majority is slightly thinner with 218 seats over Republicans’ 212. Going forward, Democrats will only be able to afford up to two defections and still pass legislation on their own without any support from Republicans.

Letlow’s swearing-in also comes a week after the death of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), which further narrowed Democrats’ House majority.

During a ceremonial swearing-in with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) just off the House floor, Letlow’s young son, Jeremiah, drew attention on social media for mimicking his mother raising her right hand and for his bow tie.

Letlow won a crowded GOP primary on March 20 to fill the vacancy left by her late husband and secured an endorsement from former President Trump, who won the solidly GOP district handily.

Multiple other House seats still remain vacant. Former Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas) died of COVID-19 complications in February, while former Democratic Reps. Deb Haaland (N.M.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio) and Cedric Richmond (La.) resigned to take roles in the Biden administration.

All of those vacancies, as well as the one left by Hastings, aren’t expected to be filled by special elections for months. 

Tags Alcee Hastings Cedric Richmond Deb Haaland Democrat House majority Donald Trump Julia Letlow Marcia Fudge Nancy Pelosi Ron Wright

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