Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson has announced that he will resign at the end of 2019, in the middle of his term.
The longtime senator, and one of the highest ranking Republicans, made the announcement on Wednesday.
He cited his ongoing battle with Parkinson’s disease and said that he does not believe he is going to be able to fulfill his duties.
“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 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,” he said.
“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,” the 74-year-old said.