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Kwanza Hall wins race to briefly succeed John Lewis in Congress

Kwanza Hall wins race to briefly succeed John Lewis in Congress
© Greg Nash

Former Atlanta Councilman Kwanza Hall (D) won a runoff election on Tuesday to succeed the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisHarris holds first meeting in ceremonial office with CBC members Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Congressional Black Caucus unveils '100 Day Plan' MORE (D-Ga.) through Jan. 3.

Hall defeated former Morehouse College President Robert Franklin Tuesday. Neither of the two top finishers in September's special election secured a majority, forcing the runoff, The Associated Press noted

After record participation in the general election, turnout on Tuesday was considerably lower, with about 22,000 people, or about 5 percent of registered voters in the district, casting ballots.

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Both Hall and Franklin acknowledged they would only serve in Congress for a few weeks on the campaign trail but touted their ability to have an impact during that limited time. Hall will likely vote on a temporary federal budget before the end of his term.

Hall said he was “truly humbled to earn this privilege” in a statement posted to his Twitter account early Wednesday.

Lewis, a longtime civil rights leader and confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80 on July 17 after representing the state’s 5th Congressional District for 33 years.

Hall noted his own father’s work in the civil rights movement and relationship with King in a statement, adding the win "allows me to continue that fight and to work every day of this term,” according to the AP.

Georgia Democratic Party Chair Nikema Williams defeated GOP candidate Angela Stanton King in November for the full two-year term. Neither was a candidate in the September special election.