Kemp in Monroe

Gov. Brian P. Kemp talks with reporters outside the Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas plant in Monroe, Ga., on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.

MONROE, Ga. — Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp said Tuesday he is taking formal applications for the upcoming vacancy in one of the state’s Senate seats.

“To ensure an open and transparent appointment process, I am encouraging all Georgians who want to serve in the U.S. Senate to submit their name and qualifications,” Kemp said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

“We will carefully vet the applicants and choose a person who best reflects our values, our state and our vision for the future.”

The seat will come open after the retirement of Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Marietta, effective Dec. 31.

Isakson was elected to a third term in 2016 but announced his intentions to retire at the end of the year, citing health problems. State law gives the governor the chance to fill a vacant Senate seat until the next general election, which will be in November 2020.

The person elected then would fill out the term, until January 2023.

Kemp told reporters in Monroe on Monday he has options in filling the vacancy.

“We’re just now getting into the process,” Kemp said after a tour of the Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas plant.

“There’s a deep, deep bench for us to pull from so we’re going to be continuing to put out news about that in the next couple of weeks. And I want someone to go to Washington, D.C., and be a fighter for Georgians.”

The 2020 election will feature a standard Senate race with Republican David Perdue seeking a second ¬— and he says final — term against the winner of the Democratic primary. The Isakson seat will be a “jungle” format with all candidates on the ballot and no primary on either side.

Applications may be submitted online through the governor’s website,

Tribune staff writer Andrew Kenneson contributed to this report.


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