Longtime United States Senator from Georgia Johnny Isakson this week announced he will resign from office at the end of 2019.

“I am leaving a job I love because my health challenges are taking their toll on me, my family and my staff,” Isakson said in a statement. “With the mounting health challenges I am facing, I have concluded that I will not be able to do the job over the long term in the manner the citizens of Georgia deserve. It goes against every fiber of my being to leave in the middle of my Senate term, but I know it’s the right thing to do on behalf of my state.”

The statement also noted Isakson is continuing physical therapy related to a fall in July and underwent kidney surgery this week. Additionally, Isakson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013.

“I want to thank Senator Isakson for his distinguished service in the U.S. Senate,” NCC President Mike Brown said in a statement. “He has been a leader on many issues of national importance and is recognized by his peers for his ability to work across the aisle.”

“Senator Isakson has also been a friend and steadfast supporter of not only Georgia’s chicken producers, but the national industry as co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Chicken Caucus since 2013,” Brown continued. “He was always one of the most revered speakers when he graciously agreed to speak at our events, and on behalf of the National Chicken Council and our members, we wish him and his family the best during his upcoming retirement.”

Isakson began his career in politics after a successful career in real estate. After serving in the Georgia Legislature for 17 years, Isakson won a special election in 1999 to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Isakson then ran for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Zell Miller in 2004.

Isakson’s Senate term ends in 2022. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp will appoint an interim senator to serve through the end of 2020. The seat will then be subject to a special election in 2020, and the winner would have to run again in 2022 for a full six-year Senate term.

Isakson informed Governor Kemp that his last day serving in the Senate will be December 31.