GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson that he will resign from the Senate at the end of the year, due to health reasons.
“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,” he said in a statement.
The hill reports, a special election will be held to fill the remaining two years of Isakson’s term during the next regularly scheduled election, meaning Georgia voters will cast ballots for both of the state’s Senate seats in 2020, when Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) is also up for reelection.
Isakson’s decision to retire immediately sparked speculation that Democrats could try to lure Stacey Abrams, who lost the state’s 2018 gubernatorial race, to run for his seat in the special election. But a spokesman for Abrams shut the door on a new 2020 Senate bid, saying Abrams would not be a candidate.
Isakson is the fourth Republican senator in the past year to announce that they will retire. Only one Democrat has announced his retirement.