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U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson stepping down at end of year due to health issues
Johnny Isakson

Johnny Isakson is stepping down from his service in the U.S. Senate at the end of the year.

 In a news release from his office he made this statement:

I am leaving a job I love because my health challenges are taking their toll on me, my family and my staff. 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. “In my 40 years in elected office, I have always put my constituents and my state of Georgia first. 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. “I look forward to returning to Washington on September 9 when the Senate goes back into session. 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.
Sen. Johnny Isakson

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

 Isakson, 74, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013, according to the news release. In July, he fell at his D.C. apartment and suffered four fractured ribs and a torn rotator cuff. On Monday, he underwent surgery at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta to remove a 2-centimeter renal cell carcinoma from one of his kidneys.

 Isakson is the only Georgian to have been elected to the state House, state Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate. His political career began in 1974, and he served in the Georgia General Assembly for 17 years. In 1997, then-Gov. Zell Miller appointed him as chairman of the Georgia Board of Education, and in 1999, he was elected to the U.S. House for the first of three terms. He was elected to his first term in the U.S. Senate in 2004, then won re-election in 2010 and 2016.

 Isakson, himself a Georgia Air National Guard veteran, became chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in 2015. He is also chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.

 He lives in Marietta and has more than 40 years of experience in real estate.

 Compiled from a news release from Isakson's office. This story will be updated.