Five Democrats, an independent and a Libertarian have thrown their hats into the ring to fill the unexpired term of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis in the 5th Congressional District, which includes southern sections of Brookhaven and Buckhead.

July 31 was the deadline to qualify for the Sept. 29 special election, which will select one of the seven to take the seat until the end of the year.

The seven contenders include Robert Franklin, a Democrat and former president of Morehouse College; Kwanza Hall, a Democrat and former Atlanta City Council member; Barrington Martin II, an educator and former unsuccessful challenger to Lewis in the June primary; Steven Muhammad, an independent and minister from East Point; Chase Oliver, a Libertarian and customer service specialist; state Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas, a Democrat who has served nearly 22 years in office; and Keisha Waites, a Democrat and former state legislator.

If none of the candidates get a majority, a runoff will be held Dec. 1.

The election to succeed Lewis, who died July 17, for a full two-year term will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot. State Sen. Nikema Williams is the Democratic appoint to replace Lewis on that ballot. The other candidate on the ballot is Republican Angela Stanton-King.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.