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New Senator

GEORGIA Johnny Isakson (R)

Thursday, November 4, 2004; Page A34

Isakson (R) ... 58% Majette (D) ... 40%

Rep. Johnny Isakson owes his new job -- U.S. senator from Georgia -- to former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). In 1999, Isakson won a special election to fill the House seat that Gingrich vacated when he resigned. Unlike Gingrich, Isakson is moderate in his ideology, mellow in his demeanor and a frequent ally of Democrats, including the man he will succeed, Sen. Zell Miller, who is retiring. He defeated Democrat Denise L. Majette. In fact, Isakson, who was defeated by then-Gov. Miller in 1990, was later appointed by Miller to head the state Board of Education.

Isakson, son of a Greyhound bus driver, spent much of his time in the House on the education committee helping President Bush pass the No Child Left Behind legislation. He worked for construction money on the transportation committee and has a high rating from the National Rifle Association. He served in the Georgia state House from 1977 to 1990 and ran unsuccessfully in 1996 for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

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