Jon Kyl likely to be sworn in on Wednesday

Sheila Mcguire
September 6, 2018

On Tuesday, Ducey refused to say what he would do if Kyl steps down after this year, beyond saying that he would not appoint himself.

Former senator Jon Kyl will inherit John McCain's seat in the upper chamber.

Kyl has only committed to serve until the end of the current congressional session on January 3. Those factions include supporters of President Donald Trump and Republicans aligned with McCain, who was sharply critical of the president.

Ducey said in a statement that there was no one "more prepared" to serve Arizona than Kyle.

"No", Kyl said flatly when asked whether he might one day serve again. The governor's spokesperson said last week that Ducey would wait until the services for McCain had concluded to select someone to replace the Arizona senator. "There is no one more qualified and Arizona is well served", Flake tweeted.

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Kyl has acted as a "sherpa" for Kavanaugh following his nomination and has helped to orchestrate his meetings with other senators. Garcia said he would have selected someone like Cindy McCain or former Attorney General Grant Woods, someone who was more in the mold of the late senator and who might be more willing to stand up to Trump. Every single day that Jon Kyl represents #Arizona in the U.S. Senate is a day our state is well-served.

Veteran Republican consultant and former McCain aide Doug Cole called Kyl a good, safe pick.

McCain's widow, Cindy McCain, disclosed the choice shortly ahead of Ducey's news conference.

Governor Ducey said he would like to keep Kyl in the Senate until McCain's seat is up for relection in 2020. Jon Kyl is ready to cast a vote for Brett Kavanaugh to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kyl, 76, served alongside McCain in the Senate from 1995 until 2013 and was a consistent conservative vote.

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The New York Times first reported Tuesday that Woods, who was McCain's chief of staff when he served in the House, was talking to Democrats about a potential run. "I think he's his own worst enemy", Kyl said of Trump, adding that he "could be much more effective if he were more politic, more diplomatic".

"Jon Kyl has a record he's worked across the aisle and he has been lauded by both sides of the aisle", Ducey said.

Woods could encounter difficulties in a Democratic primary, given his long-standing ties to the Republican Party.

His funeral service Saturday at Washington National Cathedral was in many ways a stern rebuke of Trump, with presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama eulogizing McCain as an iconic statesman who embodied passionate but civil debate, bipartisan compromise and a commitment to American values. I have committed to serving at least through the second session of the 115th Congress. Ducey, a Republican, is required by Arizona law to name a Republican to replace the Republican McCain. His appointment may make it possible for him to vote for the nomination.

A special election will be held in 2020 to choose a replacement for McCain.

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