Just In: U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson Resigns

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia has announced he is resigning his post at the end of the year, citing health issues.

Governor Brian Kemp will name a successor to fill Isakson’s seat.

In a letter to Constituents Wednesday, Isakson said, “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,” Isakson said in a statement. “I have informed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp today that I will resign my Senate seat effective December 31, 2019.”

The 74-year-old Republican was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013.

“I am leaving a job I love because my health-challenges are taking their toll on me, my family and my staff,” Isakson’s letter continued. “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,” Isakson added. “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 thank you for your continued support. Without it, my years of service would not have been possible and because of that I am forever grateful.”

Isakson became the first Republican in Georgia to be elected to a third term in the Senate when he won re-election in 2016.

After more than three decades in the real estate business, Isakson became the only elected official in Georgia to serve in the Georgia House, the Georgia Senate, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

Isakson’s Senate term ends in 2022. He will return to Washington on Sept. 9 when Congress reconvenes.