Republicans Reclaim House Representation
A special election in Louisiana has resulted in yet another Republican victory as Julia Letlow is set to be sworn in as House Representative on Wednesday morning. She won with a whopping 62% of the vote in an election involving a dozen candidates. Winning by this margin means she has avoided the need for a runoff election to confirm her candidacy. The seat was originally occupied by her late husband, Luke, who passed due to COVID-19 complications last September.
Letlow’s victory brings Republican representation in the House to 212 seats, putting the GOP narrowly behind Democrats, who won 218 seats. In the House, votes that result in a tie end in a standstill. So, Republicans need only three Democrats to vote against the Democratic-proposed legislature or to overtake three more seats to block any anti-conservative proposals in the future.
However, there are a handful of special elections scheduled throughout the coming year. One of these special elections is just over a week away on April 24th and decides the fate of Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District. It is a runoff with two Democratic candidates after the top Republican candidate garnered less than 10% of the vote in the original election. Louisiana will see either Troy Carter or Karen Peterson represent them, in only a matter of weeks.
On May 1st Texas’ 6th Congressional District will be having a special election to fill another seat left empty from a COVID-related death. This particular election is a bit of a toss-up. There are currently 23 candidates on the docket, 10 Democrats, 11 Republicans, one Liberal, and one Independent are listed. There is not a clear frontrunner, but it is notable that similarly to Julia Letlow, the late Representative Ron Wright’s widow is running to occupy his position. There is a problem with such a wide array of candidates, Republican votes could be spread too thin among the 11 candidates, resulting in a potential loss.
New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District’s special election is scheduled for June 1st. This seat was vacated by Democrat Debra Haaland, who left to join Joe Biden’s team, and is now contested by one Democrat, one Republican, one Liberal, and three Independents. It is another historically Democratic district that would help Republicans tremendously if they were to triumph.
Lastly, another blue district will be up for grabs late this year. Left absent by the newly appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia Fudge, Ohio’s 11th District will be voted on in November. It is too early to tell what the candidacy will look like, as registration to run is typically available until about a month before the election date.
In total there are four seats currently empty. The GOP has a golden opportunity to take back control of the House, and ultimately control of the extremely progressive legislature the Democrats are trying to pass. Several landmark topics are being discussed, for example, the end of the filibuster, changes to the Supreme Court, and Washington, D.C.’s statehood. Losing these elections means the conservative voice will once again be silenced but winning means the potential to decide on problems before they even make it to the Senate would give the Republicans a huge boost.
The Democrats are confident they will be victorious, Nancy Pelosi shrugs off the threats to her party’s stability, saying the Republican’s advances are “not going to be a problem.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer shares the same sentiments saying that “frankly, we’re doing okay as Democrats as you look at this quarter,” he says. If Republicans can win house seats they will be able to change the tide of the liberal agenda for America.