Georgia Democrats have selected state Sen. Nikema Williams, chair of the state party, to replace Rep. John Lewis on the ballot in November. The executive committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia voted overwhelmingly on Monday for Williams to take Lewis’ spot on the ballot for the Atlanta-area 5th Congressional District after the longtime congressman and civil rights leader’s death last week. Williams, 41, was chosen from a list of five finalists as the group works to quickly fill the spot in accordance with state law. She is nearly assured of winning in November in the heavily Democratic district, the AP reports.
The state party said it received 131 applications for the spot, and the five finalists who were chosen spoke before the committee of senior state party officials. Williams beat out state Rep. Park Cannon, Georgia NAACP President James Woodall, Atlanta city councilman Andre Dickens, and Robert Franklin, former president of Morehouse College in Atlanta. Williams, who has served in the state Senate since 2017, will face Republican Angela Stanton-King in November. Stanton-King is a reality TV personality and was pardoned earlier this year by President Trump for her role in a stolen car ring, for which she served six months of home confinement in 2007. (Two senators posted photos of the wrong Black congressman after Lewis' death.)