“Giant in the political world:” Former WSB-TV host John Pruitt remembers Senator Johnny Isakson – WSB-TV Channel 2
ATLANTA – Whether he worked at the Georgia Capitol or the US Capitol, Johnny Isakson influenced so many lives in Georgia and across the country. His service life ended on Sunday when he died at the age of 76 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Senator Isakson began serving as a state representative in the Georgia House of Representatives and then as a state senator before moving to Washington, DC as a congressman and senator.
Even when his health began to deteriorate towards the end of his service, his constituents said he fought for them as hard as ever.
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After his death, elected officials and voters alike began a wave of love for him.
The 76-year-old was praised for his non-partisanship, which, according to the former WSB-TV anchor and current political scientist John Pruitt, made him so popular.
“Johnny Isakson was a giant in Georgia in the political world,” Pruitt told Channel 2 to Matt Johnson. “He was a statesman in every way. And because of this, he was widely admired and generally liked. He was probably the most popular man in the US Senate. “
Isakson was a pioneer for veterans, creating laws like the Isakson and Roe Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act, which went into effect this year.
“He’s done tremendous things for veterans. He was a man who was always ready to step in and do what needed to be done, ”said Pruitt.
Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he ran for the third time in 2015 and continued to fight for his cause.
“It was very interesting to meet such a powerful senator, and he was really just a humble guy,” said cardiologist Dr. Heval Kelli.
Kelli says he met Isakson in 2019 to discuss how to help Syrian refugees like him. He says Isakson listened to him and networked, even in poor health.
“Even though it was his last few months in office, despite his illness and departure, he still wanted to help. So it’s just talking about his work, ”Kelli told Johnson.
He did not retire until 2019 and left the Senate for health reasons.
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Isakson’s legacy will live on forever, and Pruitt says more politicians could learn a thing or two from the way Isakson served Georgia.
“Always as a gentleman, always thinks the best of people, and that’s why they thought the best of him. That’s what I hope, I think we could all hope for a more civil discourse in the harsh world of politics, ”said Pruitt.
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