When Deborah González is sworn in, she will be Georgia’s first Latina district attorney, the circuit’s first woman in that position, and the first Puerto Rican woman in the country to be elected district attorney.
On Dec. 1, Deborah González made history in more ways than one. The mother of two won a district attorney runoff race in Georgia against James Chafin, with results showing a victory of 53.1% to 46.9%.
When she is sworn in, she will be Georgia’s first Latina district attorney, the first woman to become the district attorney for the circuit, and the first Puerto Rican woman in the country to be elected district attorney. González will serve Clarke County, which contains the city of Athens, and Oconee County.
“We did this together. This is the people’s vote. We are ready to roll up our sleeves, work really hard to bring justice to Athens and Oconee,” González said in a Facebook video.
González isn’t a stranger to politics. She was previously the former Georgia state representative of House district 117 (Athens-Clarke, Barrow, Jackson, and Oconee counties). She was also the co-chair of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators’ Taskforce on Criminal Justice and the Law. González is also a published author, most recently of “Managing Online Risks: Apps, Mobile, and Social Media Security.”
Her platforms include ending mass incarceration, focusing on serious crime (no prosecution of low-level marijuana possession), no criminalization of mental illness or drug addiction, no death penalty, racial disparities, restorative justice, and juvenile development.
“She is ready to protect our community, being strong on violent crime, while not discarding the many who are of little to no threat but get caught in an overzealous criminal justice system,” her website states.
Actress and activist Rosario Dawson posted on González’s Instagram page: “History made! ¡Georgia Con Ganas!”
Stacey Abrams also sent her a congratulatory message on Twitter, saying, “Justice was on the ballot in 2020, and Georgians made it clear that business as usual was not acceptable. Congratulations to @DG4DA on her historic win in Tuesday’s runoff to become the first Latina DA in Georgia’s history. As Deborah proved when we fight, we win. #gapol.”
González’s race almost didn’t happen. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp used a 2018 state law to delay the district attorney’s election until November 2022, but González fought back. In May, González filed a civil rights suit against Gov. Kemp and won.
“It is fundamentally unfair and constitutionally impermissible for public officials to disenfranchise voters in violation of state law so that they may fill the seats of government through the power of appointment,” the suit said.