Johnny Isakson, a long-time consensus-builder for the GOP and a man who lifted himself from the Georgia legislature to the US Senate, died at the age of 76.
Meanwhile, Washington state Senator Doug Ericksen, also a Republican, died at the age of 52, after catching COVID.
Johnny Isakson died, giving Republicans a shock
On Sunday, Iskanson’s son noted his father died while sleeping in Atlanta. Although his son asserted his father had Parkinson’s, the cause of the death has not been cleared.
Isakson, a real estate millionaire, remained in Georgia’s political scene for nearly four decades; he often voiced his concerns for the tax credit to help ease the real estate sector.
Likewise, he was an advocate of veterans’ rights, being the chairman of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee, and fought to increase healthcare choices for them.
Former US Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican who represented Georgia during his long political career, dies at 76 https://t.co/cRgB2ilAOR
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 19, 2021
After his demise, Brain Kemp, Georgia’s governor, noted Isakson’s contributions amplifying the voices of veterans were commendable, noting he was equally assertive in averting disasters in Georgia after hurricanes.
Likewise, the governor claimed Isakson was a gifted politician who strengthened Georgia’s Republican Party, without allowing partisan politics to come in his way of achieving peace.
While he kept on moving, despite having severe health problems, Isakson was left dependent on a wheelchair. As Isakson wanted to get a third term in the US Senate, he disclosed in 2016 he was affected by the Parkinson’s disorder that left him tumbling for normal activities.
When he fell down in August 2019, he broke his four ribs, which further weakened him. Thus, despite having two years remaining in his term, he decided to retire at the end of the year.
During his farewell speech, he encouraged bipartisanship in Congress, when the divisions between Republicans and Democrats were staggering.
Johnny Isakson was a true Christian gentleman. It was my distinct privilege to work alongside him. He was a gifted legislator and public servant who leaves us with a list of accomplishments as long as my arm.
— Senator Roger Wicker (@SenatorWicker) December 19, 2021
He was a practical advocate of bipartisanship, as one of his best friends was Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat.
The senator emphasized everyone should leave partisan preferences, noting that many people point fingers at others. However, Isakson added these people do not have any solutions.
When he lost Georgia’s House race in 1974, Isakson contested again two years later to win his elections, before serving for 17 years in the Georgia state House and Senate combined.
A Washington state Senator also died after contracting COVID
Meanwhile, Doug Ericksen, a Washington state senator who also died, told his fellow colleagues last month he tested positive for COVID, asking them to assist him in finding antibodies.
While he told this to his colleagues in El Salvador, it is yet to be clear where he was when he died.
Ericksen had been serving in the State legislature since 1999; he was an ardent supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign back in the early days.
By opposing the government’s outreach, he noted Washington had been the victim of the government’s coercion, thus calling for the negation of the vaccine mandate.