BAYHAM: Luke Letlow Was One Of The Very Best Men

Louisiana lost one of its finest public servants with the untimely passing of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow.

Actually untimely is not the right word for it cannot possibly convey the cruelty of Luke’s death, leaving behind a young family and countless friends.

Having just turned 41 years old just after his election to the US House of Representatives, Luke achieved a well-earned rise after a stint in the political wilderness after departing in the midst of the first term of  the Jindal Administration and leaving the state to work in the Rocky Mountains

Luke left the bitter winters behind and ran Ralph Abraham’s  campaign for Congress, successfully guiding him through a crowded field of well-funded and Duck Dynasty-connected rivals.

When Dr. Abraham decided to not seek re-election, Luke was his natural successor not because he was employed by a congressman but because the then-40 year old had skillfully worked for years with leaders in Washington and Baton Rouge and the people of the sprawling Fifth District.

Luke was one of the best prepared candidates to ever run for Congress in Louisiana. And 62% of the voters thought the same.

Luke left us only days before he was to be sworn into the seat he was overwhelmingly elected to in Congress.

Luke loved Louisiana and all of its electoral idiosyncrasies and often asked me about titles of out-of-print books on Louisiana political history and devoured them. I could never suggest enough books or obscure periods for him to study.

Even until the very end.

Though his body was fighting for life as it battled COVID-19,  Luke was trying to plow through the recently-released tome on Louisiana’s Constitution while in ICU.

Louisiana lost a young man who never lost himself to high positions or his humility.

Ironically for someone fascinated with the crowded gallery of rogues that dotted over two centuries of Louisiana’s political history narrative, Luke was totally unlike them in every way: honest, sincere, grounded, and altruistic.

Luke wasn’t just a good man; he was the very best of men.

Godspeed my political brother from up river; your time on earth was far too short but will never be forgotten.

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