5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race

5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonOvernight Health Care: New drug price hikes set stage for 2020 fight | Conservative group to spend M attacking Pelosi drug plan | Study finds Medicaid expansion improved health in Southern states New Georgia senator takes spot on health committee Loeffler sworn in to Georgia seat MORE's (R-Ga.) upcoming departure from the Senate has sparked a behind-the-scenes scramble among Republicans hoping to be named as his replacement by GOP Gov. Brian Kemp (R). 

So far, Republicans have floated a handful of names, including Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueOvernight Health Care: Trump reportedly lashed out at health chief over polling | Justices to hear ObamaCare birth control case | Trump rolls back Michelle Obama school lunch rules Trump to roll back Michelle Obama's school lunch rules on vegetables, fruits Cities, states sue over planned Trump cuts to food stamps MORE and Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe five dumbest things said about impeachment so far Pelosi accepts Collins's apology for saying Democrats are 'in love with terrorists' Trump's legal team gets set for impeachment trial MORE, to replace Isakson when he steps down at the end of the year because of health reasons.

Whoever Kemp picks would run in a special election during the next regularly scheduled election in November 2020, meaning Georgia voters will cast ballots for both of the state's Senate seats next year given that Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) is up for reelection.

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Here are 5 Republicans seen as leading contenders to replace Isakson – and a handful of others who are also believed to be possibilities.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr 

Carr was first appointed to the job by former Republican Gov. Nathan Deal in 2016 to fill a vacancy. He then won election by narrowly defeating Democrat Charlie Bailey by 2.5 points in 2018. 

Carr served as Isakson’s senatorial campaign manager in 2003.  He went on to work as the senator’s chief of staff until 2013, when then-Gov. Deal appointed him commissioner of the Department of Economic Development. 

Rep. Doug Collins

Collins was reelected to his third term representing the state's 9th District in 2018 with more than 79 percent of the vote. He serves as the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee and has been a staunch defender of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE.

Before serving in Congress, Collins was a member of the Georgia House of Representatives and spent 11 years as a pastor in Chicopee Baptist Church. 

Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Republican Tom Graves announces retirement from House Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms MORE

Graves was elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the Tea Party wave that arrived to Congress during then-President Obama’s first term. He won reelection in 2018 representing Georgia's 14th District with more than 76 percent of the vote. 

He had previously served in the Georgia House of Representatives since 2003. Before entering public service, Graves owned a landscaping business and worked as a real estate investor.

He first considered running for office after news broke that an abortion clinic was opening nearby and Graves helped form a “peaceful, pro-life” organization, according to his House biography.  

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

Perdue, President Trump's Agriculture Secretary since 2017, was the first Republican to be elected as Georgia’s governor since Reconstruction.

He served two terms as Georgia governor after ousting Democratic incumbent Roy Barnes in 2002.

Perdue is the cousin of Georgia’s other senator, David Perdue. He has been touring farmer’s conventions in recent weeks to assuage anger over the Trump administration’s trade war with China.

Rep. Austin ScottJames (Austin) Austin ScottLawmakers warn Pentagon against reduction of US forces in Africa 5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race Georgia GOP abuzz about Senate vacancy MORE

Scott ousted Democratic incumbent Rep. Jim Marshall in 2010 also while running as a Tea Party member. He ran unopposed in 2018 when he was elected to his fourth term. 

He represents Georgia's 8th District, a heavily rural area that runs between Atlanta suburbs and the Florida border. 

Before he was elected to Congress, Scott served in the Georgia House of Representatives. He was first elected at age 26. 

 

OTHER POSSIBLE PICKS

Nick Ayers

Ayers, a longtime Republican strategist and former chief of staff to Vice President Pence was immediately seen as a potential replacement but he told The Hill he is not interested in returning to Washington, D.C. 

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan

Duncan is a former baseball player who retired after an injury. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives before his election as lieutenant governor in 2018.  State Republicans cautioned that Duncan has never shown interest in serving in Washington.

Rep. Drew FergusonAnderson (Drew) Drew Ferguson5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race Amazon's Ring doorbell-camera firm partners with over 400 police forces to share surveillance: report GOP lawmaker under fire for displaying 'racially offensive' book passage in office MORE 

Ferguson served as mayor of West Point, Ga., before his 2018 election to Congress. He won with more than 65 percent of the vote. 

Former Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade Georgia ready for unpredictable Senate race Hundreds apply to fill Isakson's Senate seat in Georgia MORE

Handel lost her seat to Democrat Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade How the 31 Democrats in Trump districts voted on impeachment Vulnerable Democrats signal support for impeachment articles this week MORE in the 2018 election but has announced she plans to run again for her old seat in 2020. 

Georgia House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones

First elected to serve in 2002 representing the suburbs in northern Atlanta, Jones is the first woman to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore in the state.

Former Rep. Jack KingstonJohon (Jack) Heddens KingstonEx-Trump campaign adviser: Biden would be able to 'sit down and get some things done' with Republicans The Hill's Top Lobbyists 2019 Hundreds apply to fill Isakson's Senate seat in Georgia MORE 

Kingston served in Congress from 1993 to 2015. He ran for Senate in 2014 and lost the primary in a runoff to Sen. David Purdue. 

Kelly Loeffler

After weighing a Senate bid in 2013, the co-owner of WNBA’s Atlanta Dream decided not to run for the seat. 

State Sen. President Pro Tempore Butch Miller

Miller represents a district north and east of Atlanta, and was first elected in 2010. He is a car dealership owner.

U.S. Attorney BJay Pak

Pak served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017 and did not seek reelection in 2016.