By Tia Mitchell, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga
The winner will finish the remainder of Lewis’ term, which ends in January
Tuesday is election day to determine who will finish the remainder of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ term in Washington.
Voters in the 5th Congressional District, which stretches from Buckhead to south Fulton County and also includes parts of western DeKalb County and northern Clayton County, will cast ballots in a special election that was called after Lewis’ death in July.
If none of the seven candidates — five Democrats, a Libertarian and one independent — receives a majority of the votes in Tuesday’s election, the top two will proceed to a Dec. 1 runoff.
Turnout has already become a major theme of the campaign. Candidates were mostly forced to reach out to voters virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and all seven also expressed concerns that technical issues and confusion at some of the early voting locations may have kept some constituents from casting ballots.
Voters have also expressed confusion between this special election, the winner of which will serve only until January, and November’s contest for a full two-year term that begins after that.
The two races offer separate slates of candidates.
State Sen. Nikema Williams, who also serves as head of the Democratic Party of Georgia, is the front-runner in the November contest against Republican Angela Stanton-King, a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump.
Williams decided not to compete in the special election, which drew seven candidates who said they hoped to carry Lewis’ torch during what would be a short tenure in Congress.
Polling sites are open until 7 p.m. and absentee ballots are due at that time.
District 5 special election candidates:
Robert Franklin, Democrat, former president of Morehouse College and theology professor at Emory University, franklinforcongress2020.com
Kwanza Hall, Democrat, former Atlanta city councilman who ran unsuccessfully for Atlanta mayor, kwanzahall.com
Barrington Martin II, Democrat, an educator who unsuccessfully challenged Lewis in the June primary, votethedream.com
Steven Muhammad, independent, East Point minister and community activist, muhammadforcongress.org
Chase Oliver, Libertarian, customer service specialist, chaseforhouse.com
“Able” Mable Thomas, Democrat, state representative and former member of the Atlanta City Council, ablemable.com
Keisha Sean Waites, Democrat, former state representative who ran unsuccessfully in June in the 13th Congressional District primary, keishawaites.com