May 25, 2016
By Doug Gross
Gwinnett County is poised to send the first Hispanic woman to the Georgia state legislature.
Brenda Lopez on Tuesday won her Democratic primary in House District 99, a Gwinnett district representing areas in and around Norcross.
She faces no Republican opposition in the November general election.
Lopez defeated fellow Democrat Jaime "Jay" Trevari, earning 564 votes to Trevari's 412.
Lopez won despite her opponent being endorsed by the district's outgoing office-holder, Rep. Hugh Floyd, former Democratic Gov. Roy Barnes, several large unions and other party leaders.
An attorney, Lopez campaigned on a platform of spurring economic and community development, improving public education and addressing transportation needs.
Since 2002, a handful of male Hispanic lawmakers have served in the state House and Senate, but Lopez will be the first Latina member of the General Assembly.
Her election comes as Democratic Party leaders in Georgia area looking to rising minority populations, particularly among Hispanics, as a sign of hope they could eventually challenge the political dominance of Republicans in the state.