MARIETTA, Ga. (WTOC) - U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., issued the following statement Wednesday regarding his service in the U.S. Senate:
“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.”
Isakson, 74, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013. In July, Isakson fell in his D.C. apartment and suffered four fractured ribs and a torn rotator cuff. He underwent surgery on Monday.
Isakson’s Senate term ends in 2022, and there will be three years left in the term when he vacates the seat in December.
U.S. Representative Buddy Carter released a statement on Sen. Isakson’s announcement on Wednesday afternoon:
“Johnny Isakson is truly Georgia’s senior statesman. He has dedicated his life to our state and our nation. Amy and I have been fortunate to call Dianne and Johnny dear friends for many years and, like many across Georgia, I consider him an invaluable mentor both personally and professionally. While there is no way to overstate the impact his absence will have on the United States Senate, Johnny has never been one to rest on his laurels and I look forward to continuing working with him over the next year to advance the conservative principles on which his forty years of public service have been founded.”
Rep. Carter stopped by WTOC Wednesday afternoon to talk about Isakson.
“We are losing a great Georgian and a great senator. The state will definitely be at a loss, and the nation will be at a loss,” Carter said. “Johnny Isakson is one of the most well-respected legislators in Washington, D.C. He’s been a giant in Georgia in politics for over 40 years, and personally towards me, and a great friend."
U.S. Representative Rick Allen released a statement on Sen. Isakson’s announcement:
“Senator Isakson has demonstrated the true meaning of public service and has served the state of Georgia with distinction for decades. Johnny has always been a champion for Georgia and put our states’ interests first—and his leadership on behalf of our nation’s veterans and service members should serve as an example to us all. While he will be deeply missed, his impact will be felt for generations to come. I wish Johnny, Dianne and their family the best during this next chapter.”