As most readers know, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) announced a few weeks ago that he will resign for health reasons on December 31st. Years ago he was a moderate Republican, but as the party moved further away from the center, Isakson moved with it although lagged behind. But he had something not common to many politicians, and that is respect from most people on both sides of the political spectrum. I think he tried to meet the expectations of the voters in Georgia who sent him to Washington, which of course, could never please everyone---including a lot of Republicans.
Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, a very conservative Republican, will appoint Isakson’s successor. Whoever that is will then have to run in November 2020 to fill the remaining years of Isakson’s term, which expires in 2022. Running in two state wide elections in a two year period will not be for the feint hearted.
Kemp stated that to be considered to replace Isakson each candidate will have to apply online. To date upwards of 500 people have submitted an application and resume. I will be one of them after I was quietly told by an insider that I would be the likely choice for some of the reasons I am going to list. I recently posted my announcement on Facebook but thought I would expand on it so that readers better know what I will bring to the citizens of Georgia.
I am a naturalized Georgian who has lived in the state for going on 35 years, not counting two years of college in Georgia. I am from Brooklyn and Staten Island, which by definition to most people, classifies me as obnoxious, pushy, arrogant, and probably a few other unprintable pejoratives. Kemp is looking for someone who eschews the good ole boy politician; he wants an in-your-face representative who will tell it like it is even when there is a tidal wave of opposition.
I will work hard, starting in Georgia, to restore the Republican Party to the party of Dwight D. Eisenhower, a party that today has been gone with the wind for decades. I have a track record of working well on Senator Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) staff, and Schumer has told me that he fully supports my Republican candidacy. I plan to make Sabrett’s hot dogs (also known by New Yorkers as dirty water dogs that you buy from wagons on street corners) the favorite holiday fare at Republican gatherings. And Schumer has promised that If I am Kemp’s appointee, he will make Williamson Brothers barbeque the fare at Democratic gatherings in New York. All this will be done in an effort to bring unity and bipartisanship to a country that has been divided for too long.
I plan to bring on my staff some “consiglieres” with very specialized expertise. One is my fellow Swift Boat officer from Vietnam, Rock Harmon, a leading expert on DNA. He will implement national changes to create standards that will help solve most cold case murders and violent crimes. He’s originally from Manhattan and a retired career prosecutor with the Alameda County, California District Attorney’s Office, an outsider with solid credentials.
I also plan to ask Angela Speir, former Georgia Republican PSC commissioner (whom I don’t know) to become head of the new ethics office I will create. My policy on meeting lobbyists and special interest groups will be modeled on her policy: They can join me for lunch in my office, bring their peanut butter sandwich, I’ll bring mine, and then we’ll talk. No contributions, fancy meals, or entertainment events to discuss business.
When I worked for Senator Schumer, I had occasion to work with staff members on Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s (D-NY) staff. These are top quality people, and I will likely choose one or more to help me bring in a New Georgia. Stay tuned.
Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA), a native of Georgia, has been working hard behind the scenes to nudge Kemp into selecting him. But he brings more of the same to the table and represents exactly why he won’t get the nod. In fact, Collins might consider Satchel Paige’s famous words of not looking back because someone might be gaining. And that someone is me.
Brian Kemp and I have a new vision for a New Georgia and a New South. I am honored that he is giving me a hard look. And if I am his choice to serve in the United States Senate on behalf of all Georgians, I will be honored to ask for your vote in 2020.