Norcross native and longtime city councilman Craig Newton will be uncontested in the city’s November mayoral election. It is believed he will become the first black mayor of any Gwinnett County city. (Photo courtesy of Craig Newton)
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gwinnett officially has its first-ever black mayor

Gwinnett County — one of the most diverse communities in the state of Georgia and the entire Southeast — officially has its first-ever African-American mayor.

Craig Newton, a longtime city councilman who ran unopposed in November’s mayoral election, was sworn in as the city of Norcross’ new leader during a Tuesday night ceremony. The 62-year-old became the first African-American mayor of Norcross or any Gwinnett municipality.

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Newton has said he doesn’t take that distinction “lightly,” but that he’s focused on “being the best,” not the first.

Newton, who recently retired from the tech industry, will also be Gwinnett County’s only minority mayor — at least until new Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez is sworn at a council meeting next week.

Loganville is located in both Gwinnett and Walton counties.

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.

The county has never, however, had a non-white member elected to its county commission or its school board.


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Officials hope the transformation brings new life to the region.