Deborah Gonzalez made history multiple times by winning the runoff in her race for Georgia prosecutor.
Gonzalez told NBC News that her victory for the District Attorney of the Western Judicial Circuit on Tuesday made her the first Latina to be elected district attorney in the state, the first woman to serve as the district attorney, and the first Puerto Rican woman in the country to be elected as district attorney.
“I won,” she said on a phone call with NBC News.
Gonzalez was able to run for a district attorney after the state’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously in her favor on her lawsuit against Georgia Republican governor Brian Kemp. Kemp used a 2018 state law to postpone the district attorney election until November 2022, which sparked the court battle.
Gonzalez, a Democrat who ran as a progressive candidate, is a former state representative of District 117 of Georgia House. He defeated James Chafin for the office of Clarke County, to which the city of Athens belongs, and Oconee County, a suburb of Athens.
Unofficial results of the race show that Gonzalez won about 51.66% of the vote against Chafins 48.34% in one race with 26,100 votes.
The candidates divided the counties, with Chafin winning more votes than Gonzalez in Oconee County. But Gonzalez won more than twice as many votes as Chafin in Clarke County, the results of the Georgian Foreign Minister show.
“We did this together. This is the referendum. We are ready to roll up our sleeves and work hard to do justice to Athens and Oconee, ”Gonzalez said in a Facebook video she taped late Tuesday.
“I have the greatest admiration and respect for Deborah Gonzalez, and especially for her victory as district attorney,” said Brenda Lopez Romero, who was elected the first Latina to the Georgian General Assembly when she was elected in 2017. “She fights all obstacles, including litigation, when laws are unconstitutional.”
Lopez Romero described Gonzalez as “a strong leader initiating important criminal justice reform”.
The Gonzalez platform is calling for some judicial reforms, including an end to bail, the non-use of the death penalty and the elimination of racial differences in the state’s judicial system.
Gonzalez’s victory follows President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia in the presidential race and became the first Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton to win the state in 1992.
Their victory also precedes the critical January 5 runoff, which will determine whether Republicans will continue to control the US Senate.
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