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Sen. Isakson to formally announce re-election bid
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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson will be announcing plans next week to run for a third term with a special event at the state Capitol.

Isakson, a Republican who will turn 70 next month, has said all along he plans to run for re-election, telling reporters his 2016 bumper stickers were already printed. Word of the campaign kick-off came in an email to supporters Monday evening.

Isakson remains popular among Republicans and easily won re-election in 2010 over Democrat Michael Thurmond, a former state labor commissioner. It remains to be seen who among Democrats will seek to challenge Isakson.

This year, Democrats had hoped Michelle Nunn would have claimed Georgia's other Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, but she lost by nearly 8 percentage points in last week's election to Republican businessman David Perdue.

Isakson has long been a top political figure in Georgia. He served for more than a decade in a legislature then dominated by Democrats and earned a reputation as someone who could bring both parties together.

He lost a close gubernatorial race against Democrat Zell Miller in 1990 but won a special congressional election in 1999 to fill the seat being vacated by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Isakson made the jump to the Senate in 2004, winning the seat held by the retiring Miller. Professionally, Isakson turned a family real estate business into one of the largest in the state, earning millions along the way.

He's had a conservative voting record and opposed both President Barack Obama's economic stimulus and the federal health care law.

It's clear the soon-to-be senior senator from Georgia isn't slowing down. In the last few weeks of this year's highly-contested Senate campaign, Isakson made several appearances with Perdue and the rest of the statewide GOP ticket.

But it will be an adjustment not having Chambliss around. The two have been friends for more than 50 years since their days at the University of Georgia.

"I look forward to working with Sen.-elect David Perdue, and I will miss my friend Saxby Chambliss," Isakson said recently.