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Nikema Williams
Rep. Nikema Williams official photo, 117th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded by Kwanza Hall
Chair of the Georgia Democratic Party
Assumed office
January 26, 2019
Preceded by DuBose Porter
In office
June 9, 2013 – August 31, 2013
Acting
Preceded by Mike Berlon
Succeeded by DuBose Porter
Member of the Georgia State Senate
from the 39th district
In office
December 5, 2017 – January 3, 2021
Preceded by Vincent Fort
Succeeded by Sonya Halpern
Personal details
Born (1978-07-30) July 30, 1978 (age 44)
Columbus, Georgia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Leslie Small
Children 1
Relatives Autherine Lucy (great-aunt)
Residence(s) Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Education Talladega College (BA)
Website House website

Nikema Natassha Williams (born July 30, 1978) is an American politician and political executive serving as the representative for GA's 5th congressional district. The district includes almost three-fourths of Atlanta. She was a member of the Georgia State Senate for the 39th district before her House campaign. She is also the chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. Williams served as one of 16 electors for Georgia in the Electoral College following the 2020 United States presidential election.

Early life and education

Williams was born in Columbus, Georgia, and raised in Smiths Station, Alabama. Her father was a neighborhood leader, and her great-aunt Autherine Lucy integrated the University of Alabama. Williams graduated from Talladega College, where she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology. After graduating from college, she moved to Atlanta in 2002.

Early career

After moving to Atlanta, Williams joined the Young Democrats of Georgia. She then served as vice president for public policy at Planned Parenthood Southeast. In 2011, she was elected the first vice chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. She served as the party's interim chair in 2013, after Mike Berlon resigned. In 2018, Williams became the State Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Williams supported Barack Obama's presidential campaigns and served as a member of the Obama Victory Fund in 2012. She was recognized as one of Obama's top bundlers during that campaign cycle, raising over $50,000 for the campaign.

In 2017, Williams was elected to the Georgia State Senate, in a special election after Vincent Fort resigned to run in the Atlanta mayoral election. On November 13, 2018, Williams was one of 15 people arrested during a protest at the Georgia State Capitol against the handling of the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election. The charges were dropped in June 2019.

In January 2019, Williams was elected to once again lead the Georgia Democratic Party. She became the first Black woman, the third woman, and second African American to chair the party. She was a delegate to the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.

Williams was one of several Georgia General Assembly members to test positive for COVID-19 after being exposed by fellow member Brandon Beach.

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2020 elections

On July 20, 2020, after the death of John Lewis, Williams was selected to replace him on the November ballot for Georgia's 5th congressional district in the 2020 election. In the general election, she defeated Republican Angela Stanton-King. The 5th is so heavily Democratic that Williams had been all but assured of a seat in Congress when she was selected to replace Lewis on the ballot. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp called a September 2020 special election to fill the remainder of Lewis's 17th term. Williams opted to not run in the special election, choosing instead to focus on her role as party chair. The special election was won by Atlanta city councilman Kwanza Hall, who served for a month before handing the seat to Williams.

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Financial Services
    • Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
  • Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
    • Subcommittee on Aviation
    • Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
  • Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Williams's husband, Leslie Small, is a former aide to John Lewis. They met while campaigning for Democrats during the 2008 elections. They have one son. She is a former member of UFCW.

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