Special election set to fill John Lewis’ seat in Congress

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday set a special election for Sept. 29 to fill the remainder of John Lewis’ term in the U.S. House, which ends after this year.

The winner of the special election will serve in Congress for a matter of weeks. For the congressional term beginning in January, Democrat Nikema Williams faces Republican Angela Stanton-King in the Nov. 3 general election.

The Democratic Party of Georgia last week selected Williams, a state senator from Atlanta and the party’s chairwoman, to succeed Lewis under a process that drew criticism because it avoids a primary for a full term until 2022.

“John Lewis was a man of integrity, visionary, and force for good. It is impossible to adequately describe how he positively changed the world during his lifetime,” Kemp said Monday. “Although his loss remains heavy on the heart of our nation, his legacy will endure, and we must all strive to live our lives with the resolve of a higher purpose and meaning like John Lewis.”

Lewis had served in Congress from 1987 until his death July 17, representing the Atlanta-area 5th Congressional District. Lewis was lying in state at the U.S. Capitol on Monday and will again Tuesday.

Candidates from all political parties will compete in the Sept. 29 special election. If no one wins a majority, the top two candidates would meet in a runoff election Dec. 1.

Candidate qualifying for the seat will be held from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 1 p.m. Friday.