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:
Dozens of victims are lining up, accusing the car salesman of fraud