The Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office is about to see a huge change.

DA Danny Porter had held the office for nearly 30 years, going back to 1992. His bid to serve one more term in the office came up short on Tuesday, however, after he was defeated by his Democratic challenger Patsy Austin-Gatson.

But, the result is notable for more than just how long Porter had held the office.

Austin-Gatson, who is one of several Democrats and people of color who were ushered into office by voters on Tuesday, will make Gwinnett history as the county’s first Black district attorney.

She earned 225,600 votes, or 55.97% of the votes cast in the race, according to unofficial results.

Austin-Gatson’s margin of victory was 48,153 votes over Porter, who had briefly flirted with the idea of switching parties and running for one final term as a Democrat before heading off into retirement.

There were multiple backstories in the race, including the ongoing spat between Porter and soon-to-be-former Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader which resulted in the judge facing computer trespassing charges.

Another backstory was the back-and-forth between Porter and Austin-Gatson, as well as with the Solicitor General’s office where Austin-Gatson works. Porter had filed a state ethics complaint against Austin-Gatson, claiming she, her husband, Travis Gatson, and former Sheriff’s candidate Curtis Clemons had used county resources to campaign for office.

Austin-Gatson and Clemons have denied any wrongdoing.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

(4) comments


Wow! 2020 has been quite a year. However, this is wonderful news. Corrupted system for 30

years. People deserve better. Gwinnett is notorious for being the worst county to “get in trouble in.” Would love to see more diversity all around. #JusticeSystemReform #AllmenareEQUAL


Got any examples? You mean a county not to break the law in or you pay the consequences? Diversity over merit, experience and qualifications?


Nice to see the good ol' boy network being broken up. Cheers from an old white guy.


You should have been here in 1984 when the real good ole boy system was thrown out. The republicans had a clean sweep simply because they ran as republicans; same as now, the democrats won simply because they ran as democrats.

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