CANDIDATES

House District 105

State Representative Donna McLeod

Donna McLeod was born in the island of Jamaica, grew up in Canada. She moved to Georgia in 1998 and became a US citizen in 2012.  She has lived in the same house in Lawrenceville for 19 years. She is dedicated to educating the electorate on the importance of their roles in society and the power of the VOTE as a vital force in constructively changing our communities and our country. She served as the  Committee Chair for Voter Outreach and Outreach for the Gwinnett County Democratic Party and continues to be an active member of the Gwinnett Democrats. During the 2019 Legislative Session, Representative McLeod worked with the Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Services to update their release documents to ensure that Ex-Felons that have served their time will be informed that their Voting Rights are restored.

District Attorney

Patsy Austin Gatson

Patsy Austin Gatson has been a practicing attorney in the State of Georgia for thirty years in all State and Federal Courts. She obtained her Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University and J.D. from Emory University School of Law.  Patsy have been a resident of Gwinnett County for twenty-one years. My husband, Travis and I have three adult children and two grandchildren. Patsy’s legal experience has covered a vast area of civil and criminal law.  Patsy has thirty years of legal experience. That experience has been with the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Georgia where she represented all of the Criminal Justice Agencies in Civil Litigation; a law firm that hired her as their first Associate Attorney; her own practice which included various areas of law, including criminal and civil; and the Solicitor General’s Office of Gwinnett County where misdemeanors are prosecuted.  

 

School Board District 1

Karen Watkins

Karen Watkins believes all  students are entitled to a high-quality education that meets the student’s individual needs. This includes early childhood education to help ensure our students are ready for school. She believes in investing in professional development of  teachers to help ensure they are highly effective educators.  Karen believes diversity in our school system gives our students the great opportunity to interact with people different from themselves. They are given a different perspective which will help  students be pioneering, open minded, strong and understanding global citizens.

Georgia Senate 45

Matielyn Jones

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Matielyn Jones was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where she developed an early appreciation for diversity, creative arts, and civic engagement.  Matielyn’s family moved to Norcross, Georgia during her freshman year of high school, and she is a proud graduate of Gwinnett County Public Schools. 

 Matielyn  earned a Master’s Degree in Social Foundations of Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Georgia State University.

Matielyn is a woman of faith inspired to lead with integrity, courage, and compassion. 

Matielyn support efforts to prioritize affordable housing solutions and to promote long-term, upward socioeconomic mobility. Matielyn supports a public healthcare option that is free and accessible to all, women’s reproductive rights, advanced efforts to prevent maternal mortality, improvements in the quality of healthcare, and investing in initiatives to improve public health overall.

House District 104

Nakita Hemingway

A Georgia native, Nakita is an entrepreneur, small business owner a farmer and a Democrat. She attended Georgia State University where she studied Real Estate and would also attend American Intercontinental University where she received a degree in Finance. A mother of four, Nakita is married to Jonathan Hemingway and resides in Dacula.

Nakita is committed to a healthcare system that is affordable and accessible. This includes expanding Medicaid and passing legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable. I also will support funding for our exurban and rural hospitals who are feeling the crunch of this administration’s assault on the Affordable Care Act and Medicare. 

Nakita believe our leadership should reflect and understand the people it serves. She is committed to fair government practices that do not discriminate and that support equality in hiring decisions, as well as in the policies we make. We are stronger together, and we should have government that reflects that desire for unity and equal representation. 

 

Tax Commissioner

Tiffany Parker Porter

Tffany Parker Porter is running for tax commissioner to bring a new type of leadership to the role. Something that Gwinnett demands for this day and time. Her view is shaped by her time as a business owner, helping others succeed and being a civic leader both through her sorority’s activities and through the many women she has joined in the fight against breast cancer as a two-time breast cancer survivor.

Leadership for her is based on viewing this community as the center of all that we measure our success. The current and past leaders of this community have created and left us a valuable legacy of success. As your next tax commissioner, she vows to pick up where they left off as the new leader for a new Gwinnett.

Commissioner District 3

Jasper Watkins, III

Jasper grew up in a military household as the eldest of 2 children. His father SFC Jasper Watkins Jr. who served in the United States Army moved his family around the world as part of his service to our nation. Following in his father’s footsteps, LTC Jasper Watkins decided to join the United States Army.  As part of his military and civilian career, LTC Watkins has gained a license as a Nuclear Pharmacist. He supported the Walter Reed Army Medical Center with the placement of injured Pentagon Officials during September 11th. LTC Watkins initiated the pharmaceutical support and medical re-supply for New Orleans immediately after Hurricane Katrina while serving as the Pharmacy Director of Martin Army Hospital at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Jasper sits on several boards and scientific associations. He was awarded the Legion of Merit Award for meritorious conduct while discharging his duties.

 

Dr. Jasmine Clark was born in Atlanta, GA in December of 1982. At a very young age, Jasmine realized her passion for the sciences and aspired to follow in the footsteps of her father, and one day be a doctor. She received her Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences, with a concentration in Microbiology, from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 2005. She then went on to receive her Doctoral Degree from Emory University’s Laney Graduate School in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics in 2013 after publishing her work on retroviral particle tracking using live cell imaging microscopy. Subsequently, in 2014, she completed a Postdoctoral project at Emory University, studying high-throughput sequencing of HIV patient samples. Jasmine currently serves as a Lecturer of Microbiology and Human Anatomy and Physiology at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. As the field of science requires strategic planning, problem solving, and attention to detail, in 2018, Jasmine Clark ran on the platform that her scientific background could add a unique and refreshing perspective to legislating in GA. On November 6, 2018, Jasmine Clark was elected to the Georgia State House of Representatives, where she currently serves as the Representative to House District 108, covering the Lilburn and Mountain Park areas of Gwinnett County.

Sheriff

Keybo Taylor

Keybo Taylor is a graduate of Central Gwinnett High School, Keybo has lived in Lawrenceville for most of his life.  Keybo first joined the force in 1983 spending time in both Gwinnett’s Criminal Investigation Division and Special Investigations Section.  In 1994, he was assigned to the FBI Drug Task Force before being promoted to the rank of Sargent in 1995. By 2000, Keybo was promoted to Lieutenant and Unit Commander of the Gwinnett County Drug Task Force.  In 2007, he achieved the rank of Major and oversaw the East and South Gwinnett Police precincts.

Keybo holds a bachelors degree from Mercer University as well as a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University.  Additionally, he has certifications in Intermediate and Advanced Supervision and Management from the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, is a Certified Crisis Intervention Training, and graduated from the DEA Drug Unit Command Academy.

Georgia Senate District 9

Nikki Merritt

 Nikki Merritt is a 16-year resident of Gwinnett County and currently reside in Grayson, GA.  Nikki spent 23 years in a service career in telecommunications.  Nikki was taught me to stay engaged in social justice and to push for what is just, fair, and right.

Nikki is running for State Senate to ensure we live in a state that reflects our inclusive and diverse communities.  Nikki will fight for our most vulnerable populations, ensure public safety, support women’s reproductive rights.  Nikki feels that investments in infrastructure are fundamental to economic growth in our state.  She feels many Georgians need relief from stressful daily commutes so that they can spend less time on the road and more time at home with their families.  Nikki will fight for job-creating investments in roads, transportation solutions, and other essential infrastructure to strengthen our economy for years to come.

Georgia Senate District 41

Kim Jackson

Kim Jckson, 35, an Episcopal priest from the rural South, made Georgia home more than 10 years ago.  After graduating from Furman University, Kim volunteered as an EMT and led her colleagues at Emory’s Candler School of Theology in advocating for Criminal Justice Reform in Georgia.

Upon receiving her Master of Divinity, Kim commenced her vocation as an Episcopal priest. During ten years of ministry, she served as a college chaplain, a nationally renowned consultant and preacher, a parish priest, and a social justice advocate.

Now serving as the Interim Vicar at the Episcopal Church of the Common Ground, Kim co-creates Church with people who are unhoused in downtown Atlanta.  She and her spouse, Trina, live on a small hobby farm in Stone Mountain with two Great Pyrenees dogs, goats, bees, ducks, chickens and a cat.

School Board District 5

Tarece Johnson

Tarece Johnson is a single mom with two children. Tarece is originally from Houston, Texas.   Tarece graduated high school with honors and moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico to attend La Universidad del Sagrado Corazon. She graduated Cum Laude and earned a BA with a concentration in Humanities: Languages & Literatures (English, Spanish & French). In 1998, Tarece relocated to New York City to attend Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs. In 2000, she earned an MPA with a concentration in Community Development. 

Tarece worked in various leadership roles with functional experiences in community development, diversity, consulting, human resources, business development, and marketing. In 2003, she became an entrepreneur as the owner of Dream Events (event planning business). In 2009, she launched Beauty & Glory (natural hair/body product line). 

 Tarece have exceptional education leadership skills. She led and worked on a team to create The High School for Fire and Life Safety in Brooklyn, NY. Tarece founded and lead Global Purpose Academy and The Global Purpose Approach. She  co-founded and currently serve on the board of Peninsula International Academy (located in Placencia, Belize). She also co-founded Multicultural Jewish Alliance (a social group comprised of multicultural Jews in the southeastern United States.)

 

School Board District 3

Tanisha Banks

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Tanisha Banks educational journey began with her graduating from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Currently, she ispursuing her Masters Degree in Counseling. Tanisha is certified in English as a Second Language (ESOL), Special Education, and  presently teach in a Trauma-Informed Alternative School. Tanisha unique perspective and wealth of knowledge concerning issues experienced by students and teachers constitutes brings value-added competence for the Gwinnett County School Board.

Tanisha believes that  our citizens have the right to a transparent and accountable governing body. She pledges to keep her constituents  and our Gwinnett community informed through public disclosures and written discourse.

As your board member, Tanisha pledges to listen to our concerns and address them appropriately. She will make herself available and visible through PTA meetings, school visits, telephone conversations, emails, and town hall meetings.

Clerk of Court

Tiana P Garner

House District 108

Jasine Clark