Bi former lawmaker racks up endorsements in Gwinnett chair race

Several elected officials and leaders across the state – including three LGBTQ city councilmembers – endorsed Curt Thompson in his race to become the next Gwinnett County Commission chair. 

Thompson (photo) would become the second openly LGBTQ member of the commission and the first-ever LGBTQ chair of the state’s second-largest county if he wins. Ben Ku became Gwinnett’s first openly LGBTQ commissioner in 2018.

"Over the past year I've had the pleasure of interacting with community leaders and residents from across Gwinnett County and our state,” Thompson said in a press release. “It speaks to the strength of our campaign that folks from so many different perspectives and backgrounds have come together to support this campaign to build a bridge to Gwinnett's future.”

Thompson was endorsed by state Reps. Shelly Hutchinson, Jasmine Clark, Gregg Kennard and Dar’shun Kendrick; state Sens. Sheikh Rahman, Gloria Butler, Horacena Tate and Lester Jackson; former state Sen. Vincent Fort; Gwinnett Solicitor Brian Whiteside; Norcross City Councilmembers Bruce Gaynor and Matt Myers; Suwanee City Councilmember Heather Hall; and Gwinnett community leader Thomas Livsey. 

Gaynor called Thompson “a pro-transit, pro-cities, progressive.”

“His extensive experience will position Gwinnett to get things done at the state and regional level,” he said in the press release.

The LGBTQ officials who endorsed Thompson included Chamblee City Councilmember Brian Mock, Doraville City Councilmember Stephe Koontz and Doraville Mayor Joseph Geierman, according to Thompson’s campaign website. 

Thompson, a former state lawmaker, represented Senate District 5 in Lawrenceville from 2004 to 2018. He said he was “committed to offering a clear alternative to the status quo.”

“I look forward to working alongside these community leaders on policies like improving the relationship between Gwinnett's cities and the county, protecting civil and voting rights, solving our transit crisis and ensuring smart growth and responsible development,” he said.

Thompson pledged to push for a broad LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance if elected Gwinnett chair. 

“I think it’s time to add [an LGBTQ-inclusive Gwinnett ordinance] to both protect our county employees and it’s also time to add that to help with the citizens of the county,” he told Project Q Atlanta in July. “It’s about making a statement and saying that we invite and embrace that diversity in the LGBTQ community.”

Thompson would become the fourth LGBTQ elected official in Gwinnett. If elected he would join Ku, state Rep. Sam Park and Gwinnett School Board member Everton Blair. Thompson is running to succeed Charlotte Nash, a Republican who is retiring after eight years as county chair.

Transit advocate Art Sheldon and former state Rep. Lee Thompson are also running for Gwinnett chair, according to the AJC. The primary elections are in May and the general election is in November.