Just a few days after the passing of Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrats have chosen state party chair and senator Nikema Williams, to replace the civil rights icon on the November ballot.
Williams, 41, was selected out of four finalists from a field of 131 candidates who applied to the party after Lewis’ death on Friday (July 17), according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Representing parts of Atlanta, and several adjacent suburbs in Fulton County, Georgia, Williams took office in 2017 after a special election to replace Vincent Fort who left to run for mayor of Atlanta.
She took over the chair of the Georgia Democratic Party in 2019, replacing its prior leader Dubose Porter.
Williams has reportedly been seen as a protege of Lewis and said she stands ready to take up the mantle passed down to a new generation of political leaders.
“We need someone who is not afraid to put themselves on the line for their constituents in the same way Congressman Lewis taught us to do,” Williams, according to the AJC.
Because her district is overwhelmingly Democratic, Williams is considered highly likely to win in November.
However, she will face author, and Republican supporter of President Trump, Angela Stanton-King. She announced her candidacy in March.
According to the AJC, a special election will also be held to fill Lewis’s seat for the remaining months left on his term, which expires in January. Gov. Brian Kemp has 10 days to decide when that vote will take place.