Nikema Williams: Georgia Democrats choose replacement for civil rights hero John Lewis's congressional seat

Nikema Williams: Georgia Democrats choose replacement for civil rights hero John Lewis’s congressional seat


Nikema Williams: Georgia Democrats choose replacement for civil rights hero John Lewis’s congressional seat

Nikema Williams: Georgia Democrats choose replacement for civil rights hero John Lewis’s congressional seat

Nikema Williams: Georgia Democrats choose replacement for civil rights hero John Lewis's congressional seat 1

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Nikema Williams, state senator and party chair, has been chosen by the Georgia Democratic Party to replace the late congressman John Lewis on the ballot in November.

The state party’s executive committee voted to select Ms Williams just three days after the passing of civil rights movement hero Mr Lewis.

A quick decision was needed as party officials only had until 4.30pm on Monday in accordance with state law, as Mr Lewis had died after the state’s primaries, which were held in June.


A total of 131 people applied for the nomination after Mr Lewis’s death on Friday. That list was narrowed down to five, comprising veteran activist Ms Williams; Georgia state representative Park Cannon; Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens; former Morehouse College President Robert Franklin; and Georgia NAACP President James “Major” Woodall.

Ms Williams, a state senator since 2017, will likely win the seat in November as the Atlanta-area 5th Congressional District is heavily Democratic. When Mr Lewis last faced a Republican opponent in 2016, he got 84 per cent of the vote.

In November, Ms Williams will face Republican Angela Stanton-King, a former reality TV personality who was pardoned earlier this year by president Donald Trump for her role in a stolen car ring for which she was convicted in 2004.

With just over six months left in Mr Lewis’ term at the time of this death, Georgia governor Brian Kemp has not given any indication as to whether he will hold a special election to fill the seat, which will otherwise remain empty for the time being.

Mr Lewis passed away on Friday, several months after being diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Funeral plans have not yet been announced, but Governor Kemp ordered flags to be flown at half-mast until after the funeral.

With reporting from The Associated Press


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