Georgia politics has been thrust into the national spotlight as U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) has announced that he will leave the Senate at the end of the year due to his “progressing” Parkinson’s disease.
“It goes against every fiber of my being to leave in the middle of my Senate term, but I know it’s the right thing to do on behalf of my state,” said Isakson, 74, in a statement.
Democrats, who have already targeted Sen. David Perdue (R) in 2020, will now scramble to find a candidate to challenge Republicans for the Isakson’s seat, but could possibly pull from the existing candidates already running against Perdue.
Isakson’s term would have been up in 2022.
But even though both Perdue and Isakson enjoy high approval ratings, Democrats will challenge to win both seats.
Why not, what do they have to lose?
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) is now tasked to appointed Isakson’s replacement, who will serve until voters decide who will replace his or her replacement when they go to the polls in 2020.
Yes, both of Georgia’s Senate seats are up in 2020
“Our state and country have been immeasurably blessed by his leadership in the Georgia General Assembly, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate. Senator Isakson’s list of accomplishments on behalf of the state that he loves is long and revered, but what Georgia should be most thankful for is the high standard that Johnny held as a true gentleman, a fighter for his constituents, a trusted advocate for our nation’s veterans, and one of the greatest statesmen to ever answer the call of service to our country.”-Gov. Brian Kemp
Here is Sen. Isakson’s full statement of his condition:
“After much prayer and consultation with my family and my doctors, I have made the very tough decision to leave the U.S. Senate at the end of this year. I have informed Georgia Governor Brian Kemp today that I will resign my Senate seat effective December 31, 2019.
“I am leaving a job I love because my health challenges are taking their toll on me, my family and my staff. My Parkinson’s has been progressing, and I am continuing physical therapy to recover from a fall in July. In addition, this week I had surgery to remove a growth on my kidney.
“In my 40 years in elected office, I have always put my constituents and my state of Georgia first. With the mounting health challenges I am facing, I have concluded that I will not be able to do the job over the long term in the manner the citizens of Georgia deserve. It goes against every fiber of my being to leave in the middle of my Senate term, but I know it’s the right thing to do on behalf of my state.
“I look forward to returning to Washington on September 9 when the Senate goes back into session. And after December 31, I look forward to continuing to help the people of Georgia in any way I can and also helping those who are working toward a cure for Parkinson’s.”