Weeks after he left office, former Snellville City Councilman Roger Marmol left the Republican Party as well.

Marmol told the Daily Post this week that he was switching parties and becoming a Democrat. The former elected official — who grew up between the Little Haiti and Little Havana area of Miami — cited concerns about the way Republicans have handled minority issues.

“Most have embraced an agenda and policies that are more about fighting against our changing country, and turning the clock back on progress,” Marmol said in a statement to the Daily Post.

“Rather than engaging with every voter in our community and trying to win hearts and minds, they have instead chosen the path of trying to suppress voters, restrict civil rights and ramp up demagoguery.”

Marmol said the Gwinnett Republican Party felt more welcoming to him than the Gwinnett Democratic Party did a decade ago, but he also said the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016 “challenged” his conscience. Hate and harmful rhetoric must be fought, he said.

As for why he chose to join the Democratic Party, Marmol said he feels Democrats who have started filling local offices in recent years have been “fighting for a lot of what I have been fighting for” since long before he joined the Snellville City Council.

“The Democrats I’ve gotten to know over the years are committed to addressing and stamping out the consequences of racism, bigotry and hatred, supporting civil rights, believe every vote should be counted and are committed to investing in the future,” Marmol said.

“These are values I believe in. I know I’m not alone among young Georgians who were once active in Republican politics who have had this crisis of conscience; that’s why I’m speaking out. I could have had an easy path by being a person of color who just tows the party line and doesn’t question anything, turning a blind eye to injustices, but instead I’m choosing a path that I feel will help my community the most.”

Marmol was elected to the Snellville City Council in a nonpartisan race in 2015, but he chose to not seek re-election last year.

The former councilman said he has been asked about running for a higher office in the county, but has not made a decision on whether to do so.

Gwinnett House Delegation hosting final town hall before legislative session

Members of Gwinnett County’s delegation in the Georgia House of Representatives are inviting residents to attend a town hall meeting this week in Lawrenceville.

The meeting, which is the last in a series of town hall forums the delegation has held around the county this fall ahead of the upcoming legislative session, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, which is located at 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.

The meeting will be hosted by state Rep. Pedro Marin, D-Duluth.

Cleland reportedly flips endorsement in 7th District race

There was a bit of a shake up in the endorsement arms races among Democrats running for the 7th Congressional District seat this past week.

News reports surfaced this past week sayiing that Max Cleland, who had previously been listed among Carolyn Bourdeaux’s early endorsements, is flipping his support to state Sen. Zahra Karinshak in the congressional race. Karinshak responded to the news on her Facebook page by saying she was “honored” to have Cleland’s support.

“He has dedicated his life to serving his country and the people of Georgia, and his commitment to public service is an inspiration,” Karinshak said. “I look forward to working with him to win this seat and to fight for Georgia’s values in Washington.”

Bourdeaux still has plenty of high profile endorsements, however, including U.S. Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson and former Atlanta Mayor and U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young.

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Political Notebook appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

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.

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