4:20 PM, Jun 10, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Johnny Isakson, the two-term senator from Georgia, has been talking for nearly a year about running for reelection, and he officially announced his intention to run just days after last November’s midterm election. And when the 70-year-old Republican announced on Wednesday that he has Parkinson’s disease, he indicated he wasn’t letting his diagnosis change his mind on politics, telling reporters he will “continue to pursue the election in 2016.”
“Anybody that follows me around for a week in Washington will recognize it’s not a debilitating situation. It’s a matter of me being in charge and I’m in charge,” Isakson said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m looking forward to re-election, looking forward to whatever challenge comes about and I’m tanned, rested and ready as Richard Nixon used to say.”
Peach State Republicans say Isakson’s determination to run doesn’t come as a shock.
“Isakson is probably the most popular and well-liked political leader in the state right now,” says Joel McElhannon, an Athens-based political consultant. “It will clearly be his last term, but he has earned the respect of so many that virtually everyone in the political class in Georgia is supportive.”
“I’m not surprised Johnny is running for another six years,” says Eric Tanenblatt, a veteran Republican activist in Atlanta. “He has been one of the hardest working public servants in our state and I anticipate he will continue to be.”
“Georgia Republicans love Johnny Isakson as evidenced by the fact that no one of any merit has stepped forward to challenge him from the right or left,” says Jay Morgan, a longtime Republican consultant in Georgia who has worked on Isakson’s past Senate races. “If anyone thinks there’s an opening after today, they will only be one more in a line of pretenders who have underestimated him.”
An Atlanta-area realtor and member of the U.S. House, Isakson ran for the Senate successfully in 2004, winning reelection easily in 2010. He had been close with fellow Georgia Republican senator Saxby Chambliss, who came to the Senate two years before Isakson.
Chambliss did not seek a third term in 2014 and retired from the Senate this year. The sometimes-acrimonious GOP primary fight for Chambliss’s seat cleared half of the Republican House bench, all while a political novice, businessman David Perdue, went on to win both the nomination and the general election. Georgia Republican insiders say a similar decision by Isakson to not seek reelection might have caused another party-destablizing free-for-all primary. Many Democrats see Georgia as an emerging swing state, and Republicans could have reason to worry if forced to defend an open Senate seat in a presidential year.
All of which may explain Isakson's decision to run for a third term. And while there were rumblings for months that Chambliss could face a primary challenge if he had run, there appears to be no serious challengers to Isakson on the Republican side. Even with his diagnosis, Isakson appears in a better-than-good electoral position.
“If it was an uphill climb, I doubt he'd pull the trigger with his health this way. But clearly he's confident,” says one Georgia Republican consultant.
10:57 AM, Feb 19, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Georgia's new Republican senator David Perdue took his first foreign trip as a member of Congress to Israel. Perdue, the former CEO of Reebok and Dollar General, met with Benjamin Netanyahu and appeared in a video statement with the Israeli prime minister. The Republican said he made his first trip as a sitting senator to Israel to make a statement about his personal support for the Jewish state, and thanked Netanyahu for his "hospitality."
10:47 PM, Nov 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican David Perdue has won his race for the U.S. Senate in Georgia against Democrat Michelle Nunn, CNN projects. Perdue is expected to win more than 50 percent of the vote, meaning the race will not have to proceed to a runoff.
Nunn, the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, was considered one of the Democratic party's top recruits in a year that was otherwise expected to be good for Republicans. She and Perdue are both first-time candidates. Perdue, a businessman, is the cousin of former Republican governor Sonny Perdue.
4:34 PM, Nov 3, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia refused to say how she would have voted on the Affordable Care Act. While the Democrat was campaigning in Macon Monday, a local TV news reporter asked Nunn about her position on the law.
"Would you have voted for the president's health-care law, if you had the opportunity," the reporter asked.
"So, I've said that I wasn't there, obviously, six years ago," Nunn said. "What I would do is talk about where we should go."
The reporter tried the question again, imploring Nunn to consider it "knowing what you know now."
9:41 AM, Oct 27, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The grandson of former president Jimmy Carter wants to run for the White House himself, says Georgia governor Nathan Deal. Jason Carter, a young Democratic state senator from Decatur, is challenging the Republican Deal in a close race. Speaking at a rally in Dahlonega, the 72-year-old Deal told the crowd that his Democratic opponent wants to follow in his grandfather's footsteps.
Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
The names to watch in Georgia are Carter, Nunn, and Perdue. Nov 3, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 08 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican governor Nathan Deal has spent much of his race for reelection talking up Georgia’s progress since he took office in 2011: targeted tax reform, economic development, a bigger education budget. His ads tout that the state has added 175,000 jobs and make the vague, hard-to-verify claim that Georgia is the “number-one place to do business.”
4:38 PM, Oct 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A Georgia man confronted Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn over the rising cost his health care plan because of Obamacare:
"This is an issue," Nunn concedes.
"It's huge," says the man pointing to his bill. "It went from $683.64 to $1,294.58 in just a few more days."
A male aide then intervenes to ask a female aide to get the man's information.
"I think this is kind of thing we need to work to remedy," Nunn says.
"If Michelle Nunn wins...we can keep on doing some good work."12:37 PM, Oct 23, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Barack Obama called into an Atlanta radio station to urge Georgia voters to elect Michelle Nunn to the U.S. Senate so that the president can "keep on doing some good work."
"If Michelle Nunn wins, that means that Democrats keep control of the Senate, and that means that we can keep on doing some good work," said Obama on V-103, an urban contemporary radio station. Listen to the audio below:
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:15 PM, Oct 22, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Michael Warren on the 2014 elections.
11:42 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Ron Klain, the Democratic political operative tapped by President Obama to run the federal government's response to the Ebola virus outbreak, recently worked as a political adviser to Michelle Nunn, the Georgia Democrat running for the U.S. Senate. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Ron Klain starts work tomorrow as President Barack Obama’s Ebola “czar,” or point person to coordinate various agencies involved in containing the outbreak.
4:44 PM, Oct 15, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
A video tracker for the opposition research firm America Rising asked Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn whether she voted for President Obama in the 2008 and 2012 elections. Nunn, who is in a close race to fill the open Georgia Senate seat, refused to answer the direct question.
"Ms. Nunn, did you vote for President Obama in 2008 and 2012?" the tracker asked.
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:25 PM, Oct 15, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Michael Warren on the competitive purple state senate races in Iowa and Colorado, and the competitive races in traditionally red states like Georgia and North Carolina.
8:14 AM, Oct 15, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democrat Michelle Nunn leads her Republican opponent David Perdue in a new poll of the U.S. Senate race in Georgia. The 11Alive poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, found Nunn with 48 percent support to Perdue's 45 percent.
The poll also found Georgia's governor's race tied between incumbent Republican Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter, at 46 percent.
3:52 PM, Aug 14, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn experienced a week of embarrassment late last month when National Review's Eliana Johnson published a leaked memo from Nunn's Senate campaign. The memo was essentially Nunn's plan for how to win her race in Georgia, a state her Democratic father represented in the Senate until 1997 but that had grown more Republican in the ensuing years.