Gwinnett officially has its first-ever Latino mayor


Gwinnett County officially has its first-ever Latino mayor. 

Rey Martinez, a business owner and former city councilman, was sworn in Thursday night as the new mayor of Loganville. The city is split between Gwinnett and Walton counties. 

Gwinnett County is one of the most diverse communities in the state and in the entire Southeast but, until November, none of its municipalities had ever elected a non-white mayor. 

More from subscriber website myAJC.comWhat does the election of Gwinnett’s first minority mayors mean?

More from subscriber website myAJC.comIn deeply diverse Gwinnett, white residents confront minority status

Martinez, who was born in Puerto Rico to parents of Cuban descent, earned his spot as Gwinnett’s first Latino mayor after beating opponent Donna B. Jones in November’s election. Craig Newton, who was sworn in last week as the city of Norcross’ new leader, is Gwinnett’s first black mayor.

Martinez, a 48-year-old father of two and U.S. Navy veteran, served most of two terms as a Loganville city councilman before stepping down to run for mayor. He made a statewide name for himself in 2016 by being a vocal supporter of then-candidates Donald Trump and Mike Pence and organizing the candidates’ “Latino coalition” in Georgia.

“If my message, if my win here could inspire at least one Hispanic out there,” Martinez said in a November interview, “it’s been worth it.”

Gwinnett has been a minority-majority county, meaning it has more non-white residents than white ones, since at least 2010. U.S. Census Bureau estimates from 2016 suggest that black, Latino and Asian residents make up about 61 percent of Gwinnett’s more than 900,000 residents.

More than 20 percent of all Gwinnettians are Latino.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Tyler Estep keeps you updated on the latest happenings in Gwinnett County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

 

Never miss a minute of what's happening in Gwinnett politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.

More Gwinnett news:


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Parents file $750,000 lawsuit against Tennessee trampoline park
Parents file $750,000 lawsuit against Tennessee trampoline park

A Tennessee family filed a $750,000 lawsuit against Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park in Cordova.  Two parents filed the lawsuit in Shelby County Circuit Court last week on behalf of their son, who was injured on a rope course at the park in September 2017.  “He was given a harness by an employee, and after he had...
Texas schoolwork asking for 'positive aspects' of slave life 'unacceptable'
Texas schoolwork asking for 'positive aspects' of slave life 'unacceptable'

U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, took to Twitter on Thursday to call out a San Antonio school assignment about slavery that he called “unacceptable.”  Castro tweeted an image of the assignment, which asked students to list both positive and negative aspects to living as a slave.  The charter school where the assignment...
Southwest Airlines reportedly gives $5,000 checks to passengers from Flight 1380
Southwest Airlines reportedly gives $5,000 checks to passengers from Flight 1380

At least three passengers who were aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 received a $5,000 check in a letter from the airline, CNN reported Friday. One passenger, 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan of Albuquerque, New Mexico, died after debris from the plane’s engine blew out a window. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing...
Police: Man stays at bar for 30 minutes after being stabbed
Police: Man stays at bar for 30 minutes after being stabbed

A man who was stabbed early Thursday morning while at a Pittsburgh bar remained at the establishment for 30 minutes before leaving, investigators said. Police were called about 2 a.m. to a residential area near Pollock’s Cafe. Investigators said the 40-year-old victim was stabbed in the shoulder after he apparently got into a fight with another...
Arizona teachers approve strike, will walk out next Thursday
Arizona teachers approve strike, will walk out next Thursday

Arizona teachers voted in favor of a strike Thursday night as the educators demanded higher wages and better classroom conditions, KTAR reported. The walkout is scheduled for next Thursday. “Seventy-eight percent of the school employees in this state said yes,” Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association said during...
More Stories