Fosque did not return messages Wednesday seeking comment.
Holtkamp’s margin of victory by the unofficial count is almost exactly how lawmakers predicted the commission district would vote after the Legislature drastically redrew Gwinnett’s commission map to create a conservative-friendly northern district. That deviated from the normal legislative process of accepting maps presented by the local delegation, which in Gwinnett is mostly Democratic.
The Legislature’s interference in local redistricting in Gwinnett and other newly Democratic areas caused an outcry earlier this year, with Democrats accusing Republicans of gerrymandering to grab power. Some Gwinnett Democrats also accused Republicans of attacking the county’s changing demographics.
The county commission for the past two years has consisted entirely of Democratic members of color, a total shift in the past four years from an all-Republican board.
When Fosque was first elected four years ago, she became the first Black person to serve on the Gwinnett commission in its 200-year history.
Brenda Lopez Romero, chairwoman of the Gwinnett County Democratic Party, chalked Fosque’s loss up to redistricting.
“This is a situation about sore losing,” Lopez Romero said. “You know that you no longer have the voter base in your county and you do everything possible to have a minor semblance of an ability to win an election.”
Holtkamp and other Republicans said north Gwinnett is a distinct community that previous commission district maps carved up. Lopez Romero said Republicans drew those maps to split Black and Hispanic communities in southern and western Gwinnett, denying them representation until the county swung more Democratic overall.
Holtkamp, who co-owns a heating and air conditioning business with his wife, has touted his experience as a small business owner. He said his priorities include hiring more first responders, with a special focus on 911 dispatchers, and making road and traffic improvements.
Although Holtkamp will be outnumbered 4-1 on the Gwinnett commission, he will still bring a balance that many residents were seeking, said Sammy Baker, chairman of the Gwinnett GOP.
“What you’re going to get is some business experience on how to run a budget and run things tighter and more efficient,” Baker said. “Even if Matt can’t win a specific vote, he can still be a voice behind the scenes.”
In other unofficial results, incumbent District 2 Commissioner Ben Ku appeared to defeat his challenger, Republican John Sabic, and voters approved the renewal of a penny sales tax for capital projects, both by a 2-1 margin.
The results would give Democrats a 20-10 majority in Gwinnett’s legislative delegation, compared to 19-6 before five new legislative districts were added to the area based on 2020 census data.