Gov. Brian Kemp to pick Sen. Johnny Isakson's replacement in next few weeks

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp expects to make his pick for U.S. senator to replace the retiring Johnny Isakson within the next few weeks but offered no hints as to who he may select.

“I want someone who’s going to go to Washington, D.C., and be a fighter for Georgia,” Kemp said Monday. “We want someone who’s going to be fighting every day up there for our citizens.”

Isakson surprised many when he announced he would be retiring from the Senate because of health concerns. He’s recently battled Parkinson’s Disease, kidney cancer and is recovering after a fall that broke several ribs.

There are many names swirling around the State Capitol as potential front runners for the job including Rep. Doug Collins, Rep. Tom Graves and Rep. Drew Ferguson. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Attorney General Chris Carr’s names have also been mention as possible replacements.


Isakson sat down exclusively with Channel 2 Action News last week and said he would not advise Kemp on a potential pick but did offer one bit of advice for the governor.

“Do what Mark Twain used to say when you are confronted with a difficult decision,” Isakson said. “Do what’s right. You’ll surprise a few and amaze the rest. He’ll get to surprise a few and amaze the rest and pick the very best person available.”

Kemp’s choice will have to run for re-election in 2020 to fill out the remainder of Isakson’s term, and then will have to run again in 2022.  Kemp did say he would not require a commitment to run for re-election from his potential choice.

“I wouldn’t want to lay that line in the sand just yet,” Kemp said. “I’m still very open to a lot of different options.”