ATLANTA — She's no stranger to breaking barriers, and Cobb County's new district attorney is doing just that, again.
Joyette Holmes was appointed to the job this week by Governor Brian Kemp, making her the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position.
"An honor, it was very humbling to be considered for the position," said Holmes.
She hasn't had her official first day and her name is not yet on the walls. The Republican will be sworn in on July 2, but she's already on a mission.
"A lot of people, quite frankly, ask me, 'You want to hang up the robe to be the district attorney?' But look, serving is not about a position. It's not about what you wear to work every day. It's about being in a place where you can do the job that needs to be done," said Holmes.
This isn't the first time Holmes has broken the first woman and first African-American barriers. She also did that when she became Chief Magistrate Judge for the Cobb County Judicial Circuit.
"It's amazing. I feel good to be able to, having two teenage daughters myself, to say, look, you being females, you being African-American, does not prevent you from being able to follow your dreams and succeed and to get those opportunities that you want," she said.
Holmes said while blazing those trails is great, it takes preparation and qualification. She's spent 18 years in the legal profession and worked in this same office under former District Attorney Vic Reynolds, who now heads up the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Her plan for Cobb is to keep the county safe for its growing population.
"Making sure that when we are protecting and bringing in the people that need to be prosecuted, that we are doing it in the right way," Holmes said. "That we're putting the people away that are dangerous, that we are afraid of, and that we are giving people an opportunity for a second chance through the accountability court and diversion when that's appropriate."
She's also given consideration to how she will address the state's new controversial abortion law which is supported by Governor Kemp.
"We follow the law in this office, as I would expect any other office to follow," said Holmes. "We'll review the facts of all those cases and make a determination if it fits. I think anybody would tell you, for or against the law, that they believe they are going to be some challenges, and with those challenges, we have to make sure that we are being extra careful to prosecute only in the appropriate cases."
Just a few weeks ago we spoke with Cobb's then acting District Attorney John Melvin, about the law.
He, too, said he planned to look at each case that came into the office, saying it provided liability for doctors, nurses and some others in the medical field. He also said he would "absolutely not" prosecute women for seeking an abortion.
He then wrote an article comparing other district attorneys who said they wouldn't prosecute anyone to Nazis and segregationists.
The comments came after district attorneys from Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb and Henry counties told 11Alive they had no intention of prosecuting women for abortions - some saying they wouldn't prosecute anyone under the new law.