The US Senate and an Unexpected Retirement

Official Senate photo of Johnny Isakson

The Story:

Senator Johnny Isakson (R – Ga), who has represented Georgia in the US Senate since January 2005, announced last week that due to bad health he is retiring, effective December 31, 2019. This means that the Governor of Georgia will appoint an interim Senator, and that the seat will be the subject of an election next November. Had Isakson remained in office, he would not have had to stand for reelection until 2022.

Background:

Isakson has a voting record of 84.25, according to the American Conservative Union. The highest possible rating — available only if one votes as the ACU thinks right on every issue, is 100.

Isakson won each of his three elections for Senator by sizeable margins. The most impressive of these was his election to a second term in 2010, when he received 58.31% of the votes cast. His Democratic opponent received only 39%, with another 2.69% going to a Libertarian candidate that year.

The Thing to Know:

The other Georgia Senate seat, that currently held by Senator David Perdue (R), is also up for grabs next year. Perdue is expected to run for reelection. But this sets up the very rare situation in which both of a state’s Senate seats are filled at one time. The national Democratic Party is happy at the extra opportunity to chip away at the Republican’s majority in that chamber.

 

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