Nikema Williams, a state senator and Democratic Party of Georgia chair, is the party’s replacement nominee for the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis in the 5th Congressional District race.

The Atlanta-based Congressional district includes parts of Brookhaven and Buckhead. Before his death last weekend, Lewis had easily defeated a Democratic challenger in the June 9 primary and was scheduled to face Republican challenger Angela Stanton-King on the Nov. 3 ballot.

State Sen. Nikema Williams, the chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia and candidate in the 5th Congressional District.

State law allowed the state executive committee of the Democratic Party to appoint a replacement nominee. A special election will be called to fill out the remainder of Lewis’s term, which runs into January. That election likely will be held on Nov. 3 as well, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. It was not immediately clear whether Williams would run in that race also.

Williams represents state Senate District 39, which includes much of southern Buckhead.

“We congratulate Nikema on this appointment, and look forward to working with her in this new capacity as we uphold and build on Congressman Lewis’ legacy and elect Democrats across Georgia this November,” said Scott Hogan, executive director of the Democratic Party of Georgia, in a press release.

Hogan also cited Lewis’s legacy as a voting rights activist and acknowledged that the
“system was not perfect” with the requirement to appoint rather than elect a replacement nominee.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.