Former Arizona US Sen. Jon Kyl to replace John McCain

Former Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl whom the Arizona governor has picked to fill out the remainder of the late Sen. John McCain's seat

Ducey appeared with Kyl at a press conference on Tuesday, where the governor said there was little doubt in his mind over who should succeed McCain.

Widow Cindy McCain said it was a "great tribute" to her late husband that their close friend Kyl will return to public service by assuming McCain's seat. At that time, Arizona voters will pick the person who will serve out McCain's term, which runs through 2022. Ducey said he didn't know whether Kyl would stick around until 2020, but that he had committed to serving through this session of Congress. Kyl has said he would not seek re-election.

In choosing Kyl, Ducey tapped a figure who is well-liked by both Trump's political team and McCain's family and allies. It gives Republicans another reliable vote as Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court is being debated and another debt ceiling deadline looms, and it solves a contentious issue before Ducey faces re-election in November.

At a news conference announcing his choice on Tuesday, Ducey declared that there is "no one in Arizona with the stature of Senator Jon Kyl".

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"Senator Kyl is prepared to hit the ground running".

"What's changed for me is the passing of John McCain", said Woods, who delivered a eulogy for the late senator last week. The Arizona GOP is sharply divided between a Trumpist majority, and a more "Flake-y" fringe.

Despite the short window, Kyl will likely be able to vote for Kavanaugh as the Supreme Court nominee.

"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. "That is much easier said than done, but he is a very high-quality, consensus pick".

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"He understands how the Senate functions and will make an immediate and positive impact benefiting all Arizonans".

Since McCain's death, there has been rampant speculation about whom Ducey would appoint to the vacant seat.

At the time of his retirement, Kyl was the second-highest ranking Republican in the Senate. "But I think there's a happy medium", Kyl said.

An attorney, Kyl speaks in a formal, reserved manner that is a sharp contrast to US President Trump, and he belongs to an older, less populist vanguard of the GOP. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally, both US representatives, are squaring off to replace Jeff Flake, who didn't seek re-election.

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Kyl previously served in the Senate from 1995 to 2013 alongside McCain, including five years as Senate Republican whip. ". There is no replacing John McCain, but the law requires me to do it". Unlike McCain, whose record was mixed, Kyl voted in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in 2006, and for ending special funding for minority and women-owned businesses. "His patience, for example, his meticulous preparation and thoroughness, are, I'm sorry to say, not qualities that I'll be remembered for, but they've been indispensable to the people of our state".

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