Jon Kyl, Former Republican Senator, Picked to Replace McCain

Sen. Jon Kyl walks through the Capitol on Nov. 15 2011

Kyl was appointed on Tuesday by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, also a Republican, to temporarily fill McCain's seat.

Cindy McCain tweeted her support of the choice, calling Kyl "a dear friend of mine and John's", and calling his appointment to replace her late husband "a great tribute" to him.

Arizona's governor would be required by state law to appoint another Republican before the 2020 election.

But Ducey's appointment of Kyl may not curtail speculation because Kyl has not promised to serve until 2020 - when the seat is scheduled to come up for election. Although Kyl has not been as fiercely outspoken, he has registered more concern about the president than most sitting Republican senators.

Kyl now works as a lobbyist at the law firm Covington & Burling and is helping to shepherd U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh through the confirmation process.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he could not be happier that the "new, not-so-junior senator" will be working during a time that he described as "all hands of deck for the American people". He said in a statement, "I've asked Sen".

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.

Even more extraordinary? Only 11 men have been an Arizona senator since the state entered the union in 1912.

"Kyl tended to be more conservative than McCain throughout his tenure in the Senate", Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston, said in a telephone interview.

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A spokesman for the Arizona governor says Jon Kyl could be sworn in as a US senator as soon as Tuesday evening but it will likely occur Wednesday. "That is much easier said than done, but he is a very high-quality, consensus pick". "He understands how the Senate functions, and will make an immediate and positive impact benefiting all Arizonans", Ducey said.

Cindy McCain and daughter Meghan McCain were both rumored to be potential candidates to fill the vacant seat. One of the first votes he will cast when he is sworn in as senator will be on the confirmation of Kavanaugh to the high court. "Upon his appointment today, Mr. Kyl said, "... when I left the Senate nearly six years ago, I had no intention of returning.

Following Ducey's announcement, Kyl won quick praise from an opposition Democrat.

"I will not seek this seat in 2020, nor any other office in the future", Kyl said.

PHOENIX- John McCain's widow says former Arizona U.S. Sen. Kyle promised Ducey he will at least serve through the end of the year.

Ducey, meanwhile, will placate Arizona Republicans through his own re-election bid this fall.

Kyl said he did not "really have a relationship" with President Trump, having met him only once.

If he remains through 2020, he could face a vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act, which the GOP failed to scuttle in 2017 largely because of McCain's thumbs-down.

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