Republican Senator Johnny Isakson is delivering his official farewell address Tuesday afternoon on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The 74-year-old Georgia lawmaker announced in August he would step down in December, with more than two years left in his term, as he struggles with the effects of Parkinson’s disease.

“I look forward to sharing my thoughts & reflections with colleagues, Georgians & Americans,” he tweeted Tuesday.

Isakson’s exit – which follows a 45-year public service career – means both of Georgia’s Republican-held Senate seats are up for grabs in 2020.  

On Wednesday, Governor Brian Kemp is expected to appoint Kelly Loeffler, the multimillionaire CEO of the financial services firm Bakkt and part owner of Atlanta’s WNBA team, as Isakson’s replacement. Loeffler has secured an endorsement from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, The Wall Street Journal reports

Loeffler’s appointment may come as a disappointment to President Trump, who had hoped to see House GOP ally U.S. Representative Doug Collins fill the seat. Loeffler’s opponents within the state have criticized her party loyalty.


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