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Special election to fill the late John Lewis' seat on Capitol Hill is today

Everything you need to know about the candidates running to fill the rest of the civil rights icon's term in Congress.

ATLANTA — Today's special election for the 5th Congressional District seat to fill the remainder of the late John Lewis' term in Congress will include seven candidates who qualified in July. 

UPDATE: A runoff has been set, after no clear winner in the race. Click here for the results. 

The special election was called by Gov. Brian Kemp to fill the seat through the conclusion of the current Congress' term in early January. The civil rights icon and long-time Atlanta congressman died from complications related to pancreatic cancer in July. 

The 5th Congressional District covers portions of Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton counties. Only voters in those areas will be able to participate in Tuesday's special election.

If no single candidate wins a majority of the votes in Tuesday's special election, a run-off between the top two vote-getters will take place on December 1.

RELATED: Short stint in Congress at stake in special election for late Rep. John Lewis' seat

At stake is a stint on Capitol Hill that could only be four and a half weeks long, if no candidate reaches the 50 percent-plus-one-vote threshold necessary to secure victory in the special election. 

The candidates running in Tuesday's special election include:

  • "Able" Mable Thomas (Democrat) - Thomas has served in the Georgia House of Representatives, representing Midtown and southwest Atlanta, since 2013. She won her last election unopposed, garnering more than 16,000 votes. She won her 2018 primary with more than 75%.
  • Robert Franklin (Democrat) - Franklin is a former Morehouse president, current professor at Emory's Candler School of Theology, and was among the five finalists state Democrats were considering to place on the November ballot.
  • Barrington Martin II (Democrat) - Martin is a 32-year-old educator who ran in the June primary against John Lewis, receiving about 20,000 votes, or just more than 12%.
  • Kwanza Hall (Democrat) - Hall is a former Atlanta City Councilman who ran for mayor in 2017.
  • Keisha Sean Waites (Democrat) - Waites is a former Georgia State Representative who finished second in the 13th District primary in June, with just more than 25%.
  • Chase Oliver (Libertarian) - Oliver is the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Atlanta.
  • Steven Muhammad (Independent) - Muhamad is an activist and minister who served on Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms' task force for reimagining the Atlanta City Detention Center.

The current congressional session ends on January 3, 2021, with the new Congress being sworn in on that date.

The nominees from both parties for the 5th Congressional District for the upcoming Congressional term, both opted not to participate in the special election. 

RELATED: Watching Georgia's 2020 races for the US House of Representatives

Republican nominee Angela Stanton-King was chosen in the primary election earlier this summer, while Democratic nominee Nikema Williams was selected by the Georgia Democratic Party following Lewis' death as his replacement on the general election ticket. 

Stanton-King and Williams are running to represent the 5th Congressional District for the term beginning in January.



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