When Angelika Kausche takes her seat on the Georgia State House on Jan. 14, she will be the first German/American state lawmakers in recent Georgia history.
Kausche is a Democrat and will represent the Atlanta suburb of John’s Creek, one of the wealthiest communities in the United States.
“I think it’s one of the districts with the highest percentage of graduate degrees. So you have to have a master’s or at least two master’s or a PHD,” Kausche said of her district, which also is 49 percent Asian.
“People who immigrated from China or India or Korea,” she said.
Kausche herself immigrated with her husband to Michigan from Germany 21 years ago. They’re American citizens now and have lived in Johns Creek for about three years.
The election of Donald Trump triggered her to become more active in politics, and she jumped into action during the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2017. That’s when Republican Karen Handel faced off against Democrat John Ossoff.
“So one day I just walked into Jon Ossoff’s district office and I said ‘you have to come to John’s Creek,’” Kausche said.
She met other Democrats through the work on the campaign and they got organized. Kausche, who holds an MBA, said she saw that House District 50 had numbers that were in Democrat’s favor.
“Based on the demographics and the data we had, we knew that this is no longer the typical red north Fulton district everyone thought it was and we had a hard time finding a democratic candidate, ” she said.
So, she decided to run.
Now she is a new Democrat in a Republican controlled legislature which means very little power, according to Kennesaw State University Political Scientist Kerwin Swint.
“A freshman legislator in a minority party in Georgia is not going to accomplish very much,” he said.
And Republicans are not going to give up that seat so easily, Swint said. He expects they’ll fight hard in 2020 when a presidential election will bring out more voters, to regain the suburban Atlanta seat.
After all, Kausche won by just 315 votes. But, for now, she remains optimistic.
I’m willing to throw my heart into it, because when I start something news I will go full force. That’s a trade of mine,” she said. “I want to work hard for the people I represent and then we see in two years whether they like what they see or not.”