Following the death of Congressman John Lewis, the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia has selected Nikema Williams to become the Democratic nominee for the November 2020 elections. Nikema will be on the ballot for Georgia’s 5th congressional district, a seat Congressman John Lewis held for 17 terms.
A Georgia State Senator representing District 39 in Atlanta, Nikema currently serves as Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. She is a native of Alabama and comes from a family of activists. In fact, her great aunt is Autherine Lucy, who integrated the University of Alabama.
Nikema’s nomination exhibits the faith that the Georgia Democratic Party has in her leadership. As quoted in the New York Times, Nikema has asserted, “Nobody could possibly fill the shoes of Congressman Lewis.” Her nomination by fellow Democrats, however, demonstrates that her colleagues believe in her abilities.
If she wins in November, which most like she will, Nikema will add to the increased diversity of the Congress. As a young African American woman from the South, she brings a unique voice and perspective to policy discussions and decisions. She has a lot that she can contribute to the legislative process.
In the African American community, each generation is expected to do better than the one prior. The generational stick has been passed. Although Nikema may never be able to fill the shoes of Congressman Lewis, she is uniquely positioned to carry on and expand his legacy and, moreover, create one of her own.