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Sen. Johnny Isakson To Resign At End Of 2019

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.,  announced Wednesday he will resign at the end of the year.
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., announced Wednesday he will resign at the end of the year.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP File Photo
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This story will be updated.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson will resign his seat at the end of 2019, according to a statement released by his office Wednesday.

In the statement, Isakson, a Republican, points to his health as the reason for his resignation.

“I am leaving a job I love because my health challenges are taking their toll on me, my family and my staff,” the statement reads in part. “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.”

The senator is currently in physical therapy after a fall in July, and he said this week he had surgery to remove a growth in his kidney.

In 2015, he announced he had Parkinson’s disease.

Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement saying Isakson “embodies the heart and soul of Georgia.”

The governor will appoint someone to fill the senate seat until the November 2020 election, when the seat will appear on the ballot.

The senator, who was re-elected in 2016, was first elected to his seat in the Senate in 2005. Before that, he represented Georgia’s 6th Congressional District and served in the state senate.

“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,” he said in the statement.

Isakson’s term would have ended in 2022.

WABE reporter Roxanne Scott, WABE digital editor Courtney Kueppers and the Associated Press contributed to this report.