Senator Isakson announces resignation citing health concerns

Published 4:21 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2019

MARIETTA — U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson has announced he will resign from the U.S. Senate at the end of 2019.

“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 news release Wednesday. “I have informed Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp today that I will resign my Senate seat effective Dec. 31, 2019.”

Isakson, R-Georgia, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2013, said the decision is based on health concerns.

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“I am leaving a job I love because my health challenges are taking their toll on me, my family and my staff,” he said in the news release. “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.”

Isakson, 74, fell in his D.C. apartment and suffered four fracture ribs and a torn rotator cuff. On Monday, Isakson underwent surgery at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta to remove a 2-centimeter renal cell carcinoma from one of his kidneys.

“In my 40 years in elected office, I have always put my constituents and my state of Georgia first,” Isakson said in the news release. “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.”

However, even with the announcement, Isakson said he will return to the Senate floor Sept. 9 when the rest of his colleagues go back to Washington.

“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,” he said in the news release.

Isakson’s Senate term ends in 2022, and there will be three years left in the term when he vacates the seat in December.

In 2016, Isakson won re-election with 54 percent of the vote and became 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.