- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 30, 2020

Has the possibility that, come election night on Nov. 3, the results might not be immediate?

That the predictions made by The Associated Press CNN, Fox, MSNBC and your local stations are too close to call?

Consider those and other possibilities because, although the Donald Trump-Joe Biden foot race is the headliner, your take on down-ticket races will help guide America for at least the next four years as well from Washington.

Who is chosen to be Mr. Biden’s running mate is reportedly set to be unveiled next, and the clues to her identity are as seemingly guarded as the contestants’ on the weekly TV show “The Masked Singer.” And like the show, Mr. Biden’s clues are helpful but not dead giveaways.

On the Biden-veep ticket will be a woman and an African American. Here again, though, like contestants on “The Masked Singer,” some of the contenders are surprising victors (the Trump-Pence 2016 ticket) and some are losers because their “costumed” performance doesn’t appeal to the masses.

That’s essentially what’s being played out in Atlanta as voters prepare for the down-ticket races for the House of Representatives, where all 435 seats are up for election, including the one held by longtime Democrat John Lewis, the late civil rights giant whose remains now rest in Atlanta’s Reconstruction Era South-View Cemetery.

One of the races Democrats will surely win is Lewis’ 5th Congressional District seat, where Georgia Democratic Party leaders already have elected Nikema Williams to replace him.

She has described Lewis as a “personal hero, friend, and mentor,” and she described herself as a “student of the John Lewis School of Politics.”

Ms. Williams, who faced 130 Dems in the intraparty nomination process, stepped down as chair of the Georgia Democratic Party to put herself in the running for Lewis’ seat. And come November her likely Republican opponent will be Angela Stanton-King, a native of Cheverly, Maryland; an author; TV personality; and — get this — goddaughter of conservative evangelist Alveda King, Martin Luther King’s niece.

However, while name recognition can add significant weight when running for office, she won’t likely outrun her heavier baggage.

Ms. Stanton-King was sentenced to prison for her part in a car-theft ring, and she served two years in prison. Last winter, President Trump pardoned her — something indigestible to some Black voters.

This past March, Ms. Stanton-King said she would run as a Republican for Congress, and while there was no guarantee that Lewis’ seat would be available this fall, at least one thing is predictable: “Hotlanta” is not going to elect a Republican, Trump-supporting, pro-life, ex-felon to Lewis’ seat.

Even if she’s an African American. Indeed, according to Joe Biden’s definition, Ms. Stanton-King isn’t even Black.

Nikema Williams does, though, fit Mr. Biden’s billing as a “good” Black. She worked for Planned Parenthood, was the first African American woman to chair the party, the third woman to chair and the second Black to chair the party. She also was a delegate to both Obama-Biden Democratic National Conventions, was at the convention in 2016.

In short, her Democratic bona fides are rock solid.

She’s the kind of party woman House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants on the team regardless of Mr. Biden’s selection for vice president.

Mrs. Pelosi doesn’t so much mind voters electing their personal brand of Democrats. But voting for Republicans? That’s where she draws the electoral red line.

And in 2020, make that a double red line because Mrs. Pelosi knows that after four years of Mr. Trump and two years of the roughshod Squad, she and her Democrats need all the dependable House hands they can muster.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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