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Incumbents Win 5 Of 6 Congressional Districts, Letlow and Harris Advance To Runoff

Republican Luke Letlow, a candidate in Louisiana's 5th Congressional District, casts his ballot Tuesday with son Jeremiah in tow.
Luke Letlow For Congress
Republican Luke Letlow, a candidate in Louisiana's 5th Congressional District, casts his ballot Tuesday with son Jeremiah in tow.

Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District will advance to a general election after no candidate received the majority of the primary vote. Republicans Luke Letlow and Lance Harris, the race’s top two vote-getters, will be on the ballot in December.

Incumbents Rep. Steve Scalise, Rep. Cedric Richmond, Rep. Clay Higgins, Rep. Mike Johnson, and Rep. Garret Graves, were reelected in the state’s five other congressional districts. Richmond is currently the state’s only Democrat in Congress.

Letlow received 33 percent of Tuesday’s vote and Harris received 17 percent. Sandra Christophe, a Democrat, came in third with 16 percent of the vote.

“Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support! We are honored to be in the runoff and will continue to work hard to secure every vote as we travel throughout #LA05 talking to voters,” Letlow said in a tweet Tuesday night.

In Louisiana, all candidates compete in the same primary. Candidates can win outright with more than 50 percent of the vote, otherwise the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election. The general election will be held on Dec. 5, 2020.

The 5th District was the state’s only open seat and attracted nine different candidates — four Democrats and five Republicans. The crowded field split the vote, making it difficult for any one candidate to receive a majority of the vote.

Rep. Ralph Abraham, a Republican, currently holds the seat. He’s endorsed Letlow, who has served as his chief of staff during his three terms in Congress. Letlow is also endorsed by Higgins and Graves.

Lance Harris currently serves as a representative in Louisiana’s legislature and is the former Chairman of the Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation.

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Aubri Juhasz is the education reporter for New Orleans Public Radio. Before coming to New Orleans, she was a producer for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. She helped lead the show's technology and book coverage and reported her own feature stories, including the surge in cycling deaths in New York City and the decision by some states to offer competitive video gaming to high school students as an extracurricular activity.