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Republican Senator Johnny Isakson Announces Retirement, Cites Health Issues

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Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson announced Wednesday that he’ll be stepping down from his office at the end of the year due to health concerns.

“I am leaving a job I love because my health challenges are taking their toll on me, my family and my staff,” Isakson said in a statement, according to CNN.

“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.”

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Those “health challenges” include a growth on his kidney that Isakson recently had surgery to remove, a July fall that led to four fractured ribs and the progression of 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,” he said.

Do you think Republicans will be able to hold onto Isakson's seat in 2020?

“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,” Isakson added on Twitter.

As CNBC noted, Isakson has represented Georgia in the Senate since 2005.

He currently serves as the chairman of both the Senate Ethics and Veterans Affairs committees.

Isakson, who was most recently re-elected in 2016, is not up for re-election again until 2022.

But his looming retirement means there will be a special election to determine who will serve out the remainder of his term in November 2020.

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In the meantime, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp will get to appoint a temporary replacement who will serve until then.

Both Georgia Senate seats are now up for grabs in 2020.

According to the New York Post, three Democrats are already looking to challenge GOP. Sen David Perdue, who holds the other seat.

There was immediate speculation following Isakson’s retirement announcement that failed Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams might run for his seat next November.

But a spokesman for Abrams said she has no plans to do so.

“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,” the spokesman said.

“While she will not be a candidate herself, she is committed to helping Democratic candidates win both Senate races next year.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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Brooklyn, New York
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