In anti-establishment year, Johnny Isakson forges own path

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., left, and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., at a press conference last year in Augusta. (AP/Augusta Chronicle, Michael Holahan).

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., left, and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., at a press conference last year in Augusta. (AP/Augusta Chronicle, Michael Holahan).

WASHINGTON — Many of Johnny Isakson’s Senate colleagues are contorting themselves politically in order to survive this unpredictable and anti-establishment election year, but it’s a different story for Georgia’s two-term senator.

A walking, talking embodiment of the Georgia GOP establishment, Isakson is operating as he has for years, even during a political season in which Donald Trump swept the state’s Republican presidential primary by more than 14 percentage points.

“My father used to tell me: ‘Don’t try and be something you aren’t. You’ll screw it up,’ ” Isakson said in an interview. “I’ve always tried to be me, and regardless of what I’m doing, whether it’s the job I had in my business or whether it’s being a father or a United States senator, I try to be a predictable, reliable person so everybody knows where I am and where I stand.”

That’s been to the chagrin of Democrats and tea party-aligned groups, who were not able to field big-name challengers to the longtime GOP fixture.

Read more about Isakson’s primary path here.


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