Read up on the 2021 Louisiana 5th District special election, with its “jungle primary” on March 20.
LA-05, generally in the northeastern reaches of Louisiana, will vote on the same day in their jungle primary as the heavily Democratic 2nd District with New Orleans as its center of gravity.
If no candidate wins an outright majority of the vote in this, one of the first special elections of the year, it moves on to an April 24 runoff between the top two finishers.
LA-05 Special Election 2021: Key Facts
PREVIOUSLY HELD BY: Ralph Abraham (R). He was a three-term congressman for this district, elected in 2014 and standing down in 2020. Luke Letlow (R) won the 2020 election to succeed him, but Letlow passed away from COVID-19 complications days before the swearing in ceremony, never taking office.
LOCATION: The 5th District is mostly northeastern Louisiana, including Monroe and Ruston, but also diving south to pick up a city like Alexandria and then juts east to run along Mississippi’s border south of McComb. This seat runs from Bastrop to Bogalusa.
POLITICAL COMPOSITION: It’s a solid GOP seat. Donald Trump collected 64 percent of the vote here in both 2016 and 2020, but Republicans up and down the line do well here. Democratic success at many levels of government are limited in the 5th District.
WHO’S RUNNING: 12 candidates, nine of which are Republicans. The most prominent of them all is Julia Letlow (R), Luke Letlow’s widow, who decided to get into the race for her late husband’s seat-to-be. There are no presently elected officials running in the 2021 Louisiana 5th District special election.
2021 Louisiana 5th District Special Election: Analysis
We rate this as a Very Safe Republican hold, the complete opposite of the 2nd District race happening to the south. In truth, these two districts may be in the same state, but they are nothing alike.
The last time there was a runoff in this district, many Republicans and only one Democrat ran. The lone Democrat finished first in the jungle primary, albeit with a small percentage of the vote. Then came the runoff and the Democratic candidate got crushed.
One might say a similar thing would happen here, but we expect Letlow to finish first. We hate to say it, but we expect there is going to be a sympathy vote out there to some extent and none of the other candidates have endorsements or much (last) name recognition in the district. There may be too many candidates in the mix for Letlow to win outright, but if it does go to a runoff, she will have little trouble getting elected.
2021 Louisiana 5th District Special Election Results
Julia Letlow (R) won the special election without the need for a runoff. She will technically succeed Ralph Abraham (R) as member for the district, but follows in her late husband’s footsteps in winning the seat.