Isakson Triumphs in Sixth Congressional District
As predicted on this web site, Republican businessman Johnny Isakson, on
February 23rd, was elected without a runoff as the new congressman for
Georgia's 6th US Congressional district. Isakson received 65% of the vote,
carrying all four counties in the district by large margins. His closest competitor was
Kennesaw State University professor Christina Jeffrey, who received only 25%
of the vote. Jeffrey ran a viciously negative campaign with direct mail and
TV advertisements portraying Isakson falsely as a high tax, anti-family
liberal. The negative and dishonest tone of her campaign was denounced by
newspapers and political observers throughout metropolitan Atlanta. In the
end, her campaign tactics appeared to have backfired with many voters.
The only surprise of the election was the poor showing of Barry Doublestein, former Gwinnett County Republican Party chairman, who garnered merely 2% of the vote districtwide and only 3% of the vote in Gwinnett County. Doublestein had few resources, but his campaign did send out several mass mailings to likely Republican voters. Yet, ultimately he was competing with Christina Jeffrey for the same socially conservative voters, and she managed to grab their attention with her high profile campaign.
Johnny Isakson's many years in business and public service played a key role in his victory. His large network of political friends, business associates, and others gave him the money, volunteers, and name recognition that proved to be crucial in his easy election. His mainstream conservative record appealed to district voters tired of shrill, extremist, far right candidates. As Newt Gingrich rightly said, "I can think of no person more suited to follow me in Congress than my good friend Johnny Isakson."
Johnny Isakson was sworn in by Speaker Dennis Hastert in Washington, D.C., on February 25, 1999, as the new congressman from Georgia's Sixth Congressional District.