More GOP Names Surface for U.S. Senate Appointment

Phil Kent

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

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Over 500 Republican names have been submitted to Gov. Brian Kemp for consideration to be appointed to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Johnny Isakson on Dec. 31. The highest-ranking Republican woman in the Georgia legislature this week says she’s joining the competition along with a wealthy businessman from Alpharetta.

State House of Representatives Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones, R-Milton, says she has submitted an application to the governor, and joins other big names like U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, former U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston and former U.S. Rep. and ex-Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price who are expressing interest.

InsiderAdvantage is told by sources that another name to be considered is a political unknown: John Bardis, a North Fulton entrepreneur who for awhile was Price’s assistant secretary of Health and Human Services. The 62-year-old founded the Alpharetta-based MedAssets company and oversaw its rise to one of the largest healthcare purchasing organizations in the country. (Two years ago, MedAssets was acquired by Pamplona Capital Management for $2.7 billion.)

Friends are also floating the names of various Republicans ranging from state Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, to current U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg and longtime Atlanta attorney Randy Evans.

By the way, whoever Kemp appoints will get to be a U.S. senator for about 10 months before defending the seat in a November 2020 special election for the remaining two years of Isakson’s term.

A half dozen Democrats are looking at running for Georgia’s other Senate seat held by GOP U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who’s up for re-election on the November 2020 ballot. That’s the same day as the other Senate seat will be decided. And perhaps some of those Democrats will think about switching to run in the special election for Isakson’s seat.