Congressman-elect Luke Letlow dies from COVID-19


Luke Letlow went from being Congressman John Cooksey’s intern, to a senior staffer for Gov. Bobby Jindal and chief of staff for Ralph Abraham, and was set to become the next congressman for District 5.

The lifelong politician from Monroe died of COVID-19 complications on Dec. 29.

He was voted to be the Congressman-elect of District 5 on Dec. 5 in the general election, which he won with 62% of the vote over Lance Harris.

Letlow announced his diagnosis on Dec.18 and he received treatment at both St. Francis Hospital in Monroe and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Academic Medical Center.

Ethan Estis, a junior political science major, worked with Letlow. He started interning for him when he was 15.

“I will never forget the first time I met Luke,” Estis said. “[He was] eager to know you, ambitious to find a way to connect with you, and always asks about your life and what you would like to do.”

Estis said that the most important lesson he learned from Letlow was to “Win the day.”

“No matter how hard of a day it is, win it in any way you can,” Estis said.

Upon the news of his death, Louisiana officials took to social media to share their experiences and kind words about Letlow, including Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, who said in a tweet, “For years, Luke has served La. tirelessly. More than that, Luke was a loving husband and father.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered that flags be flown at half staff on the day of Letlow’s funeral, which was Jan. 2 in Monroe.

Letlow was hired as Ralph Abraham’s chief of staff in 2014 and, with his win in the Dec. 5 election, was set to take over for Abraham, who is retiring.

He graduated in 2003 from Louisiana Tech with a bachelor of science in computer information systems. He also served as the president of College Republicans.