Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey named former Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl as the late Sen. John McCain’s replacement on Tuesday.
Kyl served with McCain in the Senate from 1995 to Jan. 2013 before his retirement. Sen. Jeff Flake succeeded him.
Kyl, 76, was the GOP minority whip before leaving office, which is the second-highest position in the Republican conference, the Arizona Republic reported.
Ducey made the announcement at a press conference from the Arizona capitol in Phoenix.
“There is no one in Arizona with the stature of Sen. Jon Kyl,” the governor said.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announces that Sen. Jon Kyl will take John McCain's seat. "There is no one in Arizona with the stature of Senator Jon Kyl. He's a man without comparable peer" https://t.co/WVwjZFEAbB pic.twitter.com/G8p5sRQwNs
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 4, 2018
“There is no one in Arizona more prepared to represent our state in the U.S. Senate than Jon Kyl,” Ducey added. “He understands how the Senate functions and will make an immediate and positive impact benefiting all Arizonans.”
Ducey also tweeted, “I am deeply grateful to Sen. Kyl for agreeing to succeed his friend and colleague of so many years. Every single day that Jon Kyl represents #Arizona in the U.S. Senate is a day our state is well-served.”
I am deeply grateful to Senator Kyl for agreeing to succeed his friend and colleague of so many years. Every single day that Jon Kyl represents #Arizona in the U.S. Senate is a day our state is well-served. #KylforAZ #KavanaughConfirmation https://t.co/e6zHvEOk5O
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) September 4, 2018
Kyl has agreed to serve out the remainder of the current session of Congress, which will conclude in December.
Ducey expressed the hope that Kyl will stay on through the special election to fill McCain’s seat, which will take place in 2020.
That election will be to fulfill the last two years of McCain’s term, which ends in 2022.
McCain’s wife, Cindy, offered support for Ducey’s choice tweeting, “Jon Kyl is a dear friend of mine and John’s. It’s a great tribute to John that he is prepared to go back into public service to help the state of Arizona.”
Kyl spoke at a ceremony at the Arizona capitol honoring McCain last week.
Most recently, Kyl has been serving in the role of “sherpa,” guiding Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh through the confirmation process in the Senate.
Kyl will fly back to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday and could take up his seat in the Senate as early as Tuesday night.
Among the first high-profile votes he will be be called upon to make is for the confirmation of Kavanaugh, which is expected later this month and likely to be close, given the current 51-49 Republican majority.
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