Doug Ducey on Tuesday appointed fellow Republican Jon Kyl to return to the U.S. Senate and succeed the late-senator John McCain (R), tapping a replacement with deep roots in Arizona politics and who has been critical of President Trump.
"I'm putting my country first, just as this seat's previous occupant did every single day for more than 30 years", Kyl said of McCain. Prior to his service in the Senate, he was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1987 through 1995. "He understands how the Senate functions, and will make an immediate and positive impact benefiting all Arizonans", Ducey said.
Flake decided not to run for re-election this year.
"It's a great tribute to John that (Kyl) is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona", she McCain tweeted. "I look forward to working with him".
Since he retired in 2013, the Arizona Republican 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. Jon Kyl on September 4 to fill the seat vacated by the late Sen. Jon Kyl will fill her late husband's seat. "I'm picking him because he's the best possible person".
McCain died on August 25 at 81 years old - just one day after announcing he would no longer seek treatment for an aggressive brain tumor. If Kyl leaves in January, Ducey or his successor must appoint a Republican to fill the seat, according to state law.
Kyl would not commit at the news conference to serving beyond January of 2019, when the new Congress will convene after the November midterms. And if he does choose to stay, the GOP would (almost certainly) forfeit the advantage of incumbency when defending that seat during the next presidential election.
"What an excellent choice!" John and I served the people of Arizona for almost two decades, and in that spirit, along with Senator Flake, I will do my best to ensure Arizonans are well represented in the Senate.
Kyl is sure to give Republicans a reliable vote for GOP policies.
"I don't like his style".
"The world is a fine place and worth fighting for and I hate very much to leave it", McCain wrote in his memoir, referencing a line from his favorite book, the Ernest Hemingway war novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Kyl is 76-years old. I think he's own worst enemy.
In December 2017, amid rumors McCain was considering resigning his seat, Ducey sent a harsh message to politicians lobbying for him for the appointment.