Former senator Jon Kyl steps in to fill McCain's Arizona Senate seat

Former Sen. Jon Kyl to finish out John McCain's term

Doug Ducey was to announce his decision on Tuesday.

Arizona's governor picked former Republican Senator Jon Kyl, a Washington lawyer, to fill John McCain's seat in the Senate, according to a tweet from Arizona Senator Jeff Flake.

The appointment was tweeted by McCain's widow, Cindy. "It's a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona", she wrote.

In choosing Kyl, Ducey tapped a figure who is well-liked by both Trump's political team and McCain's family and allies.

In December 2017, amid rumors McCain was considering resigning his seat, Ducey sent a harsh message to politicians lobbying for him for the appointment.

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He served alongside McCain for almost two decades before retiring in 2013, and served as senate minority whip during his service, making him a key Republican leader. If Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) doesn't win her Senate election this fall against Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), that leaves the door open for Ducey to then appoint her for the next two years. He served as the Senate Minority Whip during this time frame.

But he only committed to serve until January 2019, raising the prospect of requiring Ducey to again appoint a replacement until the seat is up for re-election in November 2020. State law prescribes how a vacant seat in Congress is filled after a death, resignation or expulsion.

Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate, which means selecting a Kavanaugh supporter to replace McCain could be vital in getting the judge confirmed to the Supreme Court. John McCain's seat in the U.S. Senate. Recently, Kyl was named the Trump administration's "sherpa" to ensure Brett Kavanaugh's nomination sails through the confirmation process.

Kyl, 76, served alongside McCain in the Senate and is a reliable conservative vote.

Jon Kyl served alongside McCain in the U.S. Senate for almost two decades.

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With McCain's passing, the Senate has lost a voice that served as a strong check on Trump's actions. 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.

Cindy McCain made the statement on Twitter minutes before Arizona's Republican Gov. Doug Ducey was due to make the formal announcement.

Kyl retired in 2012 after a lengthy career in the Senate.

"I will miss him as a friend, and a strong force for America and the world", Kyl said. His appointment may make it possible for him to vote for the nomination.

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