Chair Williams: “We’re Going To Be Right In The Thick Of It”
Last week, Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Nikema Williams was featured for Georgia’s increasingly important role as a battleground for 2020 elections. So far in 2019, five Democratic presidential candidates have visited Georgia, and the number is still growing.
ATLANTA — When the top lieutenant to a presidential contender phoned Georgia Democratic Party chairwoman Nikema Williams recently to ask for a one-on-one meeting, Williams declined.
“I’m sorry, but I talk to candidates; I don’t talk to surrogates,” she said, recalling the conversation in an interview.
Williams got what she wanted. By her count, she’s had conversations with at least nine Democrats seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination, and she expects the number to climb.
That kind of attention is a testament to the growing influence that Georgia and the rest of the South has in presidential politics, beyond the first-in-the-South primary state of South Carolina.
It starts with the hundreds of delegates at stake — about a third of what’s required to win the nomination — in primaries that will quickly play out from Virginia to Texas in the weeks after the traditional early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina being the process. And with a significant black population and diversifying metro areas in many Southern states, the region is testing ground for candidates to demonstrate whether they can build the type of diverse coalition any Democratic nominee would need to defeat President Donald Trump.
“We’re going to be right in the thick of it,” Williams said.
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