He added that his legacy of service inspired research that will “move one step closer to a cure” of the disease.
As Isakson was showered with booming applause, the microphone picked up Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan telling the governor it was a “great idea.”
“Yeah, it’s going to be great,” the governor replied. “We’ve got to figure out how to do it now.”
Kemp’s office said the governor was referring to how to cure Parkinson’s disease, not how to finance the program.
A Kemp spokesman said UGA president Jere Morehead has assured the governor that the school would secure funding for the professorship, which will cost at least $500,000.
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Isakson’s surprise announcement in August to step down from the U.S. Senate two years before his term ended came as he was struggling with the side effects of Parkinson’s and other medical issues.
The governor has since tapped Kelly Loeffler, a former financial executive, for the seat. She faces a November election for the final two years of his term against several Democratic contenders and a possible challenge from U.S. Rep. Doug Collins.
- Staff Writer Maya T. Prabhu contributed to this report.
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