With John McCain’s death, one of the leading questions for many in the political world was who, precisely, would be chosen to take over the remainder of his term as Senator representing the state of Arizona. Now, according to Cindy McCain, the wife of the departed senator, the replacement has been chosen. The announcement stunned Arizonans, and received approval from Mrs. McCain.
Former Republican Senator Jon Kyl was named as Senator McCain’s replacement earlier today. Republican governor Doug Ducey, the Governor of Arizona, announced his selection via Twitter, later saying that his state’s citizens deserved someone who could “hit the ground running.”
Senator Kyl’s first big vote is likely to be an important one, as he has been placed in the United States Senate in the middle of the fight over whether or not to confirm Brett Kavanaugh as the newest member of the United States Supreme Court, who many people say will be replacing Anthony Kennedy.
Governor Ducey said that he was grateful that Kyl, who is 76-years-old, agreed to succeed his friend, and that every single day that he represents that state is a day when the state’s interests will be “well-served.”
However, he may only be a short-term pick to fill the seat.
When Ducey talked to reporters, he said that so far, he had only been able to get the former Senator to fill McCain’s seat through “at least” this current session of Congress.
Kyl said he did not want to commit to anything more, because when he left his seat before, he had no intention of running again or returning to political life.
In 2020, when President Donald Trump will likely be up for re-election, Arizona residents will be able to vote on who they wish to carry out the remaining two years of McCain’s last term in the Senate.
If they choose to continue forward with Kyl, he will be 80 by the time the 2022 election comes around, at which time Arizonans will be voting for a candidate to hold their senate seat for a full six-year term.
She called him a dear friend to both her husband and herself, and declared it a “great tribute” to her deceased husband that he was willing to go back into public service for the state.
Since his departure from the Senate, Kyl, who served as the GOP whip for a number of years, has still weighed in on issues pertaining to the Republican party.
For republicans who complained that John McCain was not conservative enough, or that he often seemed to enjoy playing the role of ‘maverick’ and voting against the interests of the political right, Kyl’s history should be heartening.
In 2007, the National Journal declared the former senator to be the fourth most conservative senator seated at the time.
In the past, he spoke out against abortion, as well as against Planned Parenthood (and the idea of using government funds to pay the organization).
However, he also knew when to work with the political left, such as when he voted with Dianne Feinstein, and even sponsored a bill alongside her, in order to preserve the rights of victims of crimes.
His history of votes on firearms-related issues is impressive, and the former Senator repeatedly came down on the side of those who choose to utilize their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
Some people think Jon Kyl is a worthy choice to replace McCain, even though he has, in the past, disparaged president Donald Trump, making statements such as declaring that his style “is boorish.”
Because he has only agreed to stay on for one year, Governor Ducey may wind up having to select another replacement for Senator McCain before the 2020 election.
While this could be a hassle for the governor, it would also allow him to help launch the career of a promising republican candidate, perhaps someone who would run in 2020 and 2022.
Kyl will certainly be more conservative than McCain was, and could be a more reliable ally to republicans after the midterm elections conclude.