Over 100 apply to replace Rep. Lewis on November ballot
Atlanta, July 20 (PTI/AP): A select group of Georgia Democrats will sift through more than 100 applications Monday to decide who will replace Rep. John Lewis on the November ballot, after the longtime congressman’s death last week.
The Democratic Party of Georgia said it received 131 applications by its Sunday evening deadline, as the group works to quickly fill the ballot spot for the 5th Congressional District, which includes parts of Atlanta, per state law.
A special seven-member committee of Democrats including Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, 2018 gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and 2014 gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter will choose between three to five candidates from the applicant pool by noon Monday.
The party’s executive committee will then pick a nominee based on the special committee’s recommendations by 4 p.m. Monday.
The nominee will face Republican Angela Stanton-King in November. Stanton-King is a reality TV personality and was pardoned earlier this year by President Donald Trump for her role in a stolen car ring, after serving six months of home confinement in 2007.
Lewis won more than 84% of the vote when he last faced a Republican opponent in the district in 2016.
The seat will remain empty until Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp schedules a special election. The Republican governor has given no indication when he will hold an election with just over six months left in Lewis’ term.
Lewis, 80, died Friday, several months after he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Funeral plans have not been announced. Kemp declared flags in Georgia will be at half-staff until sunset of the day of Lewis’ funeral.
Hundreds of people came to a giant mural of Lewis near his downtown Atlanta home Sunday to pay their respects.
Flowers, balloons, photos, candles and cards piled up at the base of the building where HERO was written above the painting of Lewis speaking.
Several people cried or prayed in the small parking lot nearby.
During a news conference alongside family members on Sunday, John Lewis’ youngest brother, Henry Grant Lewis, remembered the congressman and civil rights icon as a great man and public servant, and even greater father, husband, brother and son.
He fought until the very end, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Henry Grant Lewis as saying. That was my big brother. He was a fighter with a tenacious spirit. But he was always gracious and kindhearted.