Reactions to Rep.-elect Luke Letlow’s death pour in: ‘Devastating loss’

Reactions to Rep.-elect Luke Letlow's death pour in: 'Devastating loss'

Political leaders from both sides of the aisle have come forward with expressions of condolences following the death of Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, R.-La., at the age of 41 on Tuesday.

Letlow died following complications from COVID-19 after being admitted to a hospital on Dec. 19, a day after he announced his diagnosis.

LUKE LETLOW, 41-YEAR-OLD CONGRESSMAN-ELECT, DIES WITH COVID-19

“We are devastated to hear of Luke Letlow’s passing. Luke had such a positive spirit, and a tremendously bright future ahead of him,” read a joint statement from Louisiana’s congressional delegation. “He was looking forward to serving the people of Louisiana in Congress, and we were excited to welcome him to our delegation where he was ready to make an even greater impact on our state and our Nation. More than anything, Luke was a loving husband, father, brother, and son, and his family – like so many others who have been affected by this evil disease – needs our prayers.”

The statement, released by House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., was also on behalf of Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-La., Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., and Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards mourned Letlow’s death, expressing condoloences in a Twitter thread.

“It is with heavy hearts that @FirstLadyOfLA and I offer our condolences to Congressman-elect Luke Letlow’s family on his passing after a battle with COVID-19,” Edwards said, adding that he is “heartbroken that he will not be able to serve our people as a U.S. Representative” while being “even more devastated for his loving family.”

Edwards said he has ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-staff on the day of Letlow’s funeral.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also issued a statement, saying the House mourns Letlow’s death while recognizing the struggle of all who have lost loved ones to the pandemic.

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“May it be a comfort to Luke’s wife Julia and their children Jeremiah and Jacqueline that so many mourn their loss and are praying for them at this sad time,” Pelosi said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he spoke to Letlow’s wife and offered prayers to their family.

“Our hearts break tonight as we process the news of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow’s passing,” McCarthy tweeted. “I spoke with his wife, Julia. Judy and I are praying for her and their two young children during this terrible time.”

House Republicans called for prayer in a Wednesday tweet.

“We are all mourning this devastating loss,” they said.

“Please keep Luke Letlow’s wife, two young children, and his entire family in your prayers during this impossibly difficult time,” Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.

House Democrats said they were “deeply saddened” by Letlow’s passing.

“We pray that God watch over his family and loved ones during this difficult time,” Democrats said in a tweet attributed to “HSJ,” the initials of House Democratic Caucus chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

Democratic Rep.-elect Cori Bush, D-Mo., offered sorrow for the loss of someone who would have been her House colleague.

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“I am shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of my classmate, Congressman-elect Letlow,” Bush tweeted. “I pray for his family and for every family who has lost a loved one to COVID-19. We must remain diligent in fighting this virus so that no more families have to endure such tragedies.”

Letlow would have begun his first term on Sunday.

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