News, Politics

Longtime Isakson Aide Talks Legacy And Implications For Georgia GOP

Heath Garrett is shown with Sen. Johnny Isakson, who has announced that he will step down from his U.S. Senate seat at the end of the year. Garrett has worked for or with Isakson in some way since 1996.
Heath Garrett is shown with Sen. Johnny Isakson, who has announced that he will step down from his U.S. Senate seat at the end of the year. Garrett has worked for or with Isakson in some way since 1996.
Credit Courtesy of Heath Garrett

Heath Garrett first volunteered for Johnny Isakson’s unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1989.

He took a brief stint to work as a lawyer, but Isakson recruited him back to manage his 1996 Senate campaign.

From there, Garrett worked for Isakson steadily as a campaign manager or chief of staff, until moving to the private sector in 2007. Garrett is now a political and communications strategist in Atlanta, and Isakson remains a client of his.

Garrett calls the news of Isakson’s resignation “bittersweet.”

In terms of what this could mean for next year’s elections, Garrett thinks it could work out in the Republicans’ favor.

“I think there are a lot of voters who did not vote in 2018 who are going to come vote,” he said. “And that could create a bump for Republicans in rural, exurban and suburban areas around the state. They may not all vote for Donald Trump, but they’ll vote more Republican as they go down the ballot.”

“If those voters come back, it’ll delay the purple-ish nature of the state everyone’s talking about,” he said.