State Sen. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek, is planning a bid to make the jump from the Georgia Senate to the Georgia House of Representatives after her current seat was redrawn to lean more Republican.
Au, who was the first Asian-American woman elected to the state Senate, announced on Friday that she will run for the State House District 50 seat, which is made up primarily of the city of Johns Creek, next year. Au’s current seat in the Senate is split between Gwinnett and Fulton counties so a move to the House would take her out of the Gwinnett legislative delegation since the new House District 50 does not cross county lines.
“Senate District 48 was the sole state senate district targeted by the Republican majority in the redistricting process,” said Au, who is an anesthesiologist. “It’s a little like getting a tough diagnosis. You wish things looked more favorable, but at some point you have to accept the hand that has been dealt, and figure out what comes next.”
Au’s decision to seek a switch to the house means Gwinnett will lose an ally in the Senate. She was a leading voice of opposition in the Senate State and Local Government Operations Committee against two bills targeting the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and school board during the General Assembly’s recent special session.
Au’s decision to run for a seat in the Georgia House rather than seek re-election to her Senate seat is part of the reshuffling taking place in the aftermath of the legislative redistricting that was done during the General Assembly’s recent special session.
The Senate District 48 seat that Au currently occupies was heavily redrawn to remove Duluth, Berkeley Lake, northern Lawrenceville and southern Suwanee. Those more Democratic-leaning parts of the current District 48 were in turn transferred to the new Senate District 7, which state Rep. Beth Moore, D-Peachtree Corners, has already announced that she will run for.
The new Senate District 48 includes Johns Creek, western Suwanee, most of Sugar Hill and southern Forsyth County — all areas that lean more Republican.
That makes it far easier for Republicans to regain the seat in 2022 for the first time since former state Sen. David Schafer left the Senate in 2018 for an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor.
“I came to the Gold Dome to add value for hard-working Georgians and to be put to work to make our state healthier,” Au said in a statement. “I’m the only Democratic physician in the General Assembly. I’m the only member with an advanced degree in public health. I’m the first Asian woman to serve in the Georgia Senate.
“I’ve worked hard to advance common sense, responsible public policy. While the Republicans can draw me out, they can’t count me out, and I intend to stay right here, continuing to serve my community in the state legislature, and fighting to make Georgia a healthier, safer, and more inclusive state, where everyone’s voices can be heard.”
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I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.
On Sunday, it was time for our clocks to "spring forward," lessening the night's sleep by one hour. While it may not seem too significant, Daylight Saving Time can definitely throw everyone for a loop. How do you handle it?
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