Congressman John Lewis’ death leaves an open seat in Congress and an open spot on the ballot in November. Lewis was in the process of running for reelection and had already won the democratic primary at the time of his death.
According to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, voters will choose Lewis’ replacement in Congress in two separate elections, one to fill the remainder of his current term which expires in January and the general election in November where he was facing republican challenger Angela Stanton King.
Because Lewis had already won the democratic primary, state law allows the Democratic Party of Georgia to appoint a replacement nominee. Raffensperger has given the party until 4:30 p.m. today to inform his office if they will be doing that.
“As our state mourns the loss of a great Georgian, the law demands that we move quickly to elect the next representative from the 5th Congressional District,” said Raffensperger. “Congressman Lewis played a pivotal role in our nation’s history to ensure access to the ballot box, and voters can honor his legacy by participating in our democracy as they decide who should represent them in Congress. No one can replace John Lewis, but someone must represent the interests of the 5th Congressional District.”
Gov. Brian Kemp will call a special election to fill the remainder of Lewis’ current term, which ends in early January. The writ calling for the special election shall be issued within 10 days from the vacancy and the election must be at least 30 days after that. In federal elections, federal law requires military and overseas ballots to be sent 45 days before the special election.