Arizona governor names former Sen. Jon Kyl as McCain replacement

06 September, 2018, 03:27 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • Arizona governor names former Sen. Jon Kyl as McCain replacement

Governor Doug Ducey scheduled a news conference Tuesday to announce his decision, after a series of memorial services for McCain last week and his burial Sunday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Cindy McCain, the late senator's wife, praised the selection of Kyl on Twitter, calling him "a dear friend of mine and John's".

A special election will be called in 2020 to fill the remainder of McCain's term, which would have ended in January 2023. Ducey said that it is possible that Kyl will resign as soon as the end of this year when the congressional session wraps up.

Kyl's appointment means the Republican attorney who had been guiding President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, through the confirmation process will now have a vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Kyl, 76, served with McCain in the Senate and rose to become Republican whip, the second-highest leadership post in his party's Senate leadership, before retiring in 2013.

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"The best piece of advice I received was from another governor who said, 'just do the right thing".

Kyl's entire career in Washington overlapped with McCain's, and he served with the state's senior senator for three terms before stepping down.

It was the sometimes more moderate McCain who past year thwarted fellow Republicans' attempts to undo Obamacare in a dramatic vote shortly after being diagnosed with cancer in July 2017.

McCain was one of the GOP's most vocal Trump critics. "It's challenging for me be so involved in everything that we did to honor him over the last week and then think of staying on the sidelines as we face a world without John McCain".

Ducey said Kyl was "an expert on the matters facing Arizona", including water, land use and issues involving Native Americans. "Senator Kyl is filling the shoes of John McCain and Barry Goldwater before him".

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Cindy McCain, the late senator's widow, applauded Ducey's appointment of Kyl. "Now, Sen. Kyl can cast a vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation".

In making the announcement, Ducey said, "There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl". Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is retiring this year after only a single term.

Kyl benefits from a long Washington experience, having served a total of 26 years in Congress, 18 of them alongside McCain.

The ex-senator said he was willing to serve through at least the end of the current Congress "to make sure that the business that is now ongoing is taken care of". Those who know Kyl say that he is more likely to be a bridge-builder than a Trump antagonist along the lines of McCain, Flake or Ben Sasse, R-Neb.

At a news conference, Kyl said he has only met Trump once, several months ago.

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Even if Ducey loses to Democrat David Garcia in November, though, whoever is governor is required by state law to pick a replacement senator from the same political party as the departing senator.

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