ATLANTA, Ga. (WRBL) – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) of Cobb County has announced his resignation from the Senate, effective December 31. The Senator informed Georgia Governor Brian Kemp today.
“After much prayer and consultation with my family and my doctors, I have mad the very tough decision to leave the U.S. Senate at the end of this year,” Isakson said.
Isakson’s current Senate term is set to end in 2022, so after his resignation there will be three years remaining. The senior U.S. Senator from Georgia, Isakson has served the country and state since 1974, a more than 40 year career of public service.
Sen. Isakson’s re-election in 2016 with 54 percent of the vote made him the first Republican in Georgia to be elected to a third term in the U.S. Senate.
“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 office said in a press release.
In 2013, Isakson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and earlier this year suffered a fall and tore a rotator cuff as well as four fractured ribs.
“I am leaving a job I love because my health challenges are taking their toll on me, my family, and my staff,” Isakson said. “My Parkinson’s has been progressing and I am continuing physical therapy to recover fro ma fall in July. In addition, this week I had surgery to remove a growth on my kidney.”
On Monday, Isakson underwent surgery to remove a 2-centimeter renal cell carcinoma from one of his kidneys, according to a release from the Senator’s office.
In his letter to Governor Kemp, Isakson said that his service to the State of Georgia has “been the honor and privilege of a lifetime,” and promised that he and his staff “will do everything we can to help whomever you appoint to serve in this seat.”
Governor Kemp released a statement following the announcement, praising Isakson’s service to Georgia.
“No one embodies the heart and soul of Georgia more than Johnny Isakson,” said Kemp. “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. Marty and I are forever grateful for the friendship that Johnny and Dianne have shown us over the years and wish them the very best in the years to come. I will appoint Senator Isakson’s replacement at the appropriate time.”
Read Isakson’s full resignation letter below: