Gwinnett’s sheriff and DA, both Republicans, endorse MARTA referendum

By Tyler Estep

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Two of Gwinnett’s longest-serving Republican elected officials — and two of its most powerful law enforcement leaders — are putting their support behind the county’s MARTA referendum.

Sheriff Butch Conway and District Attorney Danny Porter, both of whom have been in office since the 1990s, join former Gov. Nathan Deal as high-profile Republicans who have now urged Gwinnett residents to vote yes during the March 19 special election.

In endorsements released via the pro-transit ballot committee “Go Gwinnett,” Conway and Porter each suggested that passage of the referendum — which would ratify Gwinnett’s pending contract with MARTA and levy a new 1 percent sales tax to pay for new transit projects — would help with public safety.

Said Conway: “As our county’s population has grown, so too have the challenges facing the fantastic first responders who serve us every day. Congested roads lead to more wrecks, more traffic fatalities and longer response times for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene.”

Said Porter: “Gwinnett officials — directly responsible to the people of this county — will determine how the transit system works in our county, and they will have flexibility to meet the changing needs of their constituents. I trust our locally elected officials to implement this transit plan in a way that maximizes mobility while still prioritizing public safety.”

Molly Bloom