Gwinnett's politics have been gradually shifting to the left for years now. But the 2018 election cycle was a gut punch for the county's Republicans.
Democrat Stacey Abrams took Gwinnett by double digits in the governor's race and Democrats flipped Gwinnett's state legislative delegation. The county commission got its first Democrats since the 1980s.
Republican incumbent Rob Woodall won reelection to the 7th Congressional District — which includes most of a Gwinnett and a sizable chunk of more conservative Forsyth County — by just a few hundred votes.
Recent news that Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter, a longtime Republican, is considering switching parties to have a better shot at victory in his 2020 reelection bid added fresh salt to the wound.
Muldrow, a black Air Force veteran, is part of a new, more diverse leadership team at the Gwinnett GOP. He made it clear that African-American voters, which make up more than a quarter of Gwinnett’s electorate, will be an important group for the party to reach.
But Muldrow also said the organization has do a better job of actively making its pitch to just about everyone in the county. The “laid back approach” of the past can’t be part of the future, he said.
“We just have to show up, we have to be involved,” Muldrow said. “And if that's an uncomfortable situation, then so be it.”
Debbie Dooley, a longtime Tea Party and Republican Party activist, said she’s excited to see where a younger, more diverse leadership takes the local party.
“I think you will see a Gwinnett GOP being more aggressive in reaching out to the community and trying to attract new members and letting folks know why they should be Republicans,” Dooley said.