Senator Johnny Isakson Announces Retirement

Two Georgia seats now up for grabs

August 28, 2019
Senator Johnny Isakson has served in the U.S. Senate since 2005

(Photo Credit: Moses Robins/Getty Images for NBC Universal)

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U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson is retiring at the end of the year.

Isakson, who has held elected offices in Georgia for 40 years, issued the following statement:

"After much prayer and consultation with my family and doctors, I have made the very tough decision to leave the U.S. Senate at the end of 2019. It has been the honor of a lifetime serving the state of Georgia. This decision pains me greatly but I know it is the right thing to do."

The 74 year old Isakson, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2005. He chairs both the Veterans’ Affairs and the Select Committee on Ethics in the Senate.

Governor Kemp to Name Isakson's Replacement

Governor Brian Kemp said in a statement that he will appoint a replacement "at the appropriate time." Isakson's final day in office is December 31, 2019.  According to state law, Gov. Kemp is to appoint someone to serve until the election in 2020.

“No one embodies the heart and soul of Georgia more than Johnny Isakson," said Governor Kemp. "Our state and country have been immeasurably blessed by his leadership in the Georgia General Assembly, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate.

Will Stacey Abrams Run?

Former candidate for Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams' camp issued the following statement: "Our thoughts are with Senator Isakson and his family. Leader Abrams' focus will not change: she will lead voter protection efforts in key states across the country, and make sure Democrats are successful in Georgia in 2020. While she will not be a candidate herself, she is committed to helping Democratic candidates win both Senate races next year.

Georgia Democrats Ready to Fight

Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Nikema Williams released the following statement: "We thank Senator Isakson for his years of service to his state and country, and wish him all the best for his future. With now two Senate seats up for election in 2020, it has never been clearer that the path for Democratic victory runs through Georgia. We are the battleground state, and Georgia Democrats are ready to fight and deliver both the Senate and the presidency for Democrats across the country in 2020."