The Latest: Former Pence aide says he won’t seek Senate seat

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia announcing he plans to retire because of health reasons (all times local):

4 p.m.

A former White House official from Georgia says he’s not interested in the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Nick Ayers said in an email Wednesday that Gov. Brian Kemp will have “a number of great options” to choose from when it comes to picking someone to replace Isakson until a special election is held next year. But Ayers said: “I won’t be one of them.”

Isakson announced Wednesday that he will retire from the Senate at the end of 2019, citing health problems including Parkinson’s disease. His decision means both of Georgia’s Senate seats will be on the ballot in 2020.

Republican strategists saw Ayers as a possible successor. He served as chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence for two years before returning to Georgia in January.


11 a.m.

Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia says he’ll retire at the end of 2019, citing what he calls “health challenges.”

The 74-year-old lawmaker says he’ll be leaving the job he loves because health issues are “taking their toll” on his work, family and staff.

The three-term senator was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013 and suffered a fall in July, according to his office.

Isakson had surgery in Georgia to remove a growth on a kidney.

He plans to return to Washington when the Senate resumes next month.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, will appoint someone to fill the seat when Isakson steps down in December.

That’ll set up a rare situation in November 2020 when both of Georgia’s Senate seats will be on the ballot.

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