A DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR ALL
Meet Deborah Gonzalez
FIGHTING FOR YOU. FOR EVERYONE.
LIFELONG JUSTICE WARRIOR
Deborah Gonzalez is a lifelong advocate of fair justice. Prior to taking office as the Western Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney, she worked as an attorney, accumulating years of valuable experience across many disciplines. The Western Judicial Circuit includes the entirety of Athens-Clarke County and Oconee County.
Alongside her legal experience, Gonzalez also had the privilege of representing the residents of Clarke, Oconee, Barrow, and Jackson counties in the Georgia House of Representatives. During her legislative tenure, she served on the Judiciary Non-Civil House Committee where she became known as a skillful questioner, earning her the nickname “The Cross Examiner.” Gonzalez’s reputation as a no-nonsense, people-first legislator led to her being appointed co-chair of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators’ Taskforce on Criminal Justice and the Law. Gonzalez is also a published author.
Before running for District Attorney, Gonzalez had to fight for the election to even happen in the first place. Prior to 2020, there was a longstanding practice where incumbent judges or District Attorneys would resign before leaving office, allowing the Governor to appoint a replacement and essentially cancel the election due to state laws surrounding the way that appointees were supposed to serve their terms. This attempt to control the office via political machination was initiated in 2019, but Deborah successfully sued the state to overturn this unfair policy – therefore returning the power to choose a District Attorney back to the people of our community.
Gonzalez ran in 2020 on a pledge to challenge the system in place. After years of working in the community on issues such as criminal justice, racial disparities, restorative justice, and juvenile development, she saw a broken system that failed to focus enough resources on violent offenses. Meanwhile, she also witnessed firsthand how that same system churned mindlessly through the motions of entrapping individuals who are of little to no threat to public safety, condemning them to a lifetime of being stuck in the legal system after losing everything they have.
After winning a hard-fought election with a platform focused on those challenges, Gonzalez worked hard to accomplish those goals in the face of monumental challenges, especially those posed by the Pandemic. After courts had been shut down for a substantial amount of time, there was a case backlog number in the thousands. Despite this, she has worked constantly to successfully implement the meaningful change that she had been elected to champion.