U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson raised $1.39 million in the second quarter, his campaign announced Thursday, a decrease from what he took in the first three months of the year.
Candidates typically increase their fundraising hauls as they get closer to re-election — and the Georgia Republican is up next year — but there are a couple of factors affecting Isakson’s money chase.
First, Isakson, 70, acknowledged June 10 that he is battling Parkinson’s disease. It was late in the quarter, and his full report is not in yet, so whether his fundraising pace declined after that announcement is unclear. But it did spark plenty of speculation about whether Isakson was setting the stage to drop out.
Isakson, who has battled retirement rumors for years, has consistently maintained that he will run and serve a full term. Medical experts back up the idea that he can do so with Parkinson’s because his case is in its early stages.
Second, Isakson does not have a big-name opponent, so his fundraising team cannot use a foil to gin up support and stoke fears that the two-term incumbent is vulnerable. At this point, Isakson’s only declared opponent is Republican Derrick Grayson of Stone Mountain — who got 1 percent of the vote in the state’s 2014 U.S. Senate primary — and Democrats are still trying to recruit a challenger.
So Isakson’s $4.8 million cash on hand remains a significant head start against anyone looking to take him on. He released the following statement with the fundraising announcement:
So Isakson, who raised $1.6 million in the first quarter, still has a significant head start against anyone looking to take him on, with $4.8 million in cash on hand. He released the following statement with the fundraising announcement:
“As I have traveled Georgia these last months, I have received overwhelming support from all corners of the state. My campaign is about delivering Georgia values to Washington, keeping our Republican majority and taking back the White House in 2016. It is about our country’s future.”
The state is not among Democrats’ top targets nationally, but they say Georgia could be in play — while raising the prospect that Isakson does not make it to the finish line.
“Democrats are confident that we will put together a great campaign in Georgia that will benefit from presidential election year turnout and win this seat regardless of whether or not Senator Isakson is the nominee,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky said.
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