A woman who was pardoned by President Donald Trump has announced she will be running for Congress against Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis.
Angela Stanton-King, who was pardoned by Trump last month, announced her congressional bid in a message clarifying that “this isn’t about replacing John Lewis, this is about picking up the torch and continuing the fight for Justice.
A former reality show star and author, Stanton-King is also the goddaughter of Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Thanks for your prayers ?? it’s official. I’m running for U.S. Representative for the 5th District of Georgia. This isn’t about replacing John Lewis, this is about picking up the torch and continuing the fight for Justice. ?? pic.twitter.com/tsbTrUtVGN
— Angela Stanton-King (@theangiestanton) March 6, 2020
The pro-life advocate joined other black Trump supporters last week to pray over the president in the Oval Office. She will now be facing one of his most vocal critics in a bid for the Georgia congressional seat. Lewis announced in December that he was battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer but the civil rights icon was still planning to run for reelection.
“I’m honored to be running for my 18th term in Congress representing the citizens of Georgia’s 5th district,” Lewis said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “My constituents know me, they know my record, and they know that I have fought tirelessly for them for the last 33 years,”
Speaking with a TMZ reporter, Stanton-King said she thought Lewis “should take the time to heal” and reiterated that she was not looking to “replace him or undo anything he’s done.”
“Whenever I think about Rep. John Lewis, the image I have in my head is him on the Selma bridge. I have the utmost respect for the contributions that he has made to black America,” Stanton-King told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, referring to the 1965 march on Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. “However, this isn’t the Selma bridge, and our babies are dying. It is time for war.”
Stanton-King spent two years in jail and six months in home confinement for a 2004 conviction related to a car theft ring. She appeared in BET Network’s “From the Bottom Up” and is best known for her 2012 book, “Life of a Real Housewife.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
In the book — originally published under the name Angela Stanton as “Lies of a Real Housewife” — Stanton-King wrote that she and former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Phaedra Parks and Parks’ former husband, Apollo Nida, were involved in various criminal enterprises, including forgery and a complicated “federal racketeering scheme” aimed at stealing luxury cars. Parks filed a $30 million lawsuit against Stanton-King. The case was dismissed in 2016.
A statement from the White House on her pardon last month said that Stanton-King “overcame a difficult childhood to become a champion for redemption and rehabilitation for all who strive for a better life.”
“Today, (Stanton-King) is a national best-selling author, widely acclaimed television personality, and proponent of criminal justice reform,” the statement read. “She works tirelessly to improve reentry outcomes for people returning to their communities upon release from prison, focusing on the critical role of families in the process. This pardon is supported by Alveda King.”
Noting her political inexperience, Stanton-King said her campaign would be focusing on abortion and criminal justice issues.
“I have never run for office and I don’t have political experience,” she said. “But I do have life experiences.”
“How can a dream live if we kill it, right? How many Martin Luther King Jr.s, and Malcolm Xs, or Barack Obamas have we aborted?” she asked.
“Every time you hear that the majority of Democratic candidates go on stage, they say poor women of color need access to abortion. I was born to a poor woman of color. I was a poor woman of color when I gave birth to my children. Who’s to say that their lives are worth any less than others?” she added. “So, I think we need to take a different approach to the issue instead of constantly receiving funding for our own genocide.”
Asked by TMZ about the criticism she faced for being seen in a photo praying over the president, Stanton-King wondered, “what’s wrong with praying?”
“America was founded on Christian values. There’s nothing wrong with praying,” she said.
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