Norcross councilman to make history as city's first black mayor - CBS46 News

Norcross councilman to make history as city's first black mayor

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

A city incorporated in 1870 will have its first black mayor in 2018.

"I've been getting hundreds of congratulatory remarks from people," says Norcross city councilman Craig Newton, who is running for mayor unopposed. 

Newton will be sworn in next year. He has served on the Norcross City Council since 1995, taking just two years off. He even ran for mayor once before, losing to Lillian Webb.

"I ran for mayor in roughly 2002," he explained. "I think I got 47 percent of the vote, which was really good for a first time run."

His second run is going much better.

There are several projects Newton wants to see come to fruition. One of the most important for him is expanding the city center, which he says will grow business downtown and increase property values. Newton already has the support of colleagues, like Norcross City Councilman Andrew Hixson.

"He's been a great city council member. He'll be a great mayor," says Hixson. "I really think that having an African American on council has been a benefit to our city. We're a very diverse city. One of the most diverse cities in the county."

Newton represents part of a growing population in Gwinnett County. Atlanta Regional Commission numbers show the black population continues to increase in the county, from 79,000 in 2000 to more than 233,000 in 2015.

There are rumblings that Newton may even be the first black mayor in all of Gwinnett County. CBS46 contacted the county's historical society and found they're still looking into those claims.

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